The baroreflexes stabilize moment-to-moment arterial pressure. Sinoaortic denervation (SAD) of the baroreflexes results in a large increase in arterial pressure variability (APV) across various species. Due to an incomplete understanding of the nonlinear interactions between central and peripheral systems, the major source of APV remains controversial. While some studies suggested that the variability is endogenous to the central nervous system (CNS), others argued that peripheral influences may be the main source. For decades, abnormal cardiovascular variability has been associated with a number of cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, heart failure, and stroke. Delineating mechanisms of the APV is critical for the improvement of current strategies that use APV as a clinical tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases. In this study, with a unique chronic neuromuscularly blocked (NMB) rat preparation that largely constrains peripheral influences, we determined the CNS contribution to the post-SAD APV. First, we confirmed that SAD significantly increased APV in the NMB rat, then demonstrated that post-SAD ganglionic blockade substantially reduced APV, and subsequent intravenous infusions of phenylephrine and epinephrine (in presence of ganglionic blockade) only slightly increased APV. These data suggest that the CNS is an important source, and skeletal activity, thermal challenges or other forms of peripherally generated cardiovascular stress are not required for the post-SAD APV. In addition, we showed that bilateral aortic denervation produced a larger increase in APV than bilateral carotid sinus denervation, suggesting that the aortic baroreflex plays a more dominant role in the control of APV than the carotid sinus.