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Regional and functional differences in the distribution of vestibulosympathetic reflexes.

Authors
  • Kerman, I A
  • Yates, B J
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American journal of physiology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1998
Volume
275
Issue
3 Pt 2
Identifiers
PMID: 9728081
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although considerable evidence suggests that the vestibular system regulates sympathetic outflow during movement and changes in posture, little is known about relative vestibular influences on activity of different sympathetic nerves and sympathetic efferents with different functions. In the present study, we demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the vestibular nerve in the cat elicited responses in sympathetic nerves innervating the head and abdominal viscera. This observation suggests that activity of sympathetic efferents innervating multiple body regions is affected by vestibular signals. These responses were attenuated by >80% when blood pressure was increased to >160 mmHg. Because raising blood pressure decreases the responsiveness of vasoconstrictor fibers, the simplest explanation for these data is that the vestibular system provides particularly strong inputs to components of the sympathetic nervous system that regulate peripheral vascular resistance. Furthermore, the relative magnitude of vestibulosympathetic reflexes was over four times larger in one sympathetic nerve composed mainly of vasoconstrictor efferents (renal nerve) than another nerve (external carotid nerve) containing similar types of fibers. Collectively, these data indicate that the vestibular system has selective influences on sympathetic outflow to particular tissues and body regions.

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