Angiotensin II and α-agonist. I. Responses of ovine fetoplacental vasculature

T. Yoshimura, R. R. Magness, C. R. Rosenfeld

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34 Scopus citations


During ovine pregnancy the uteroplacental vasculature is less responsive to angiotensin II (ANG II)-induced vasoconstriction than the systemic vasculature, whereas responses to α-agonists are just the opposite. Comparisons of fetal systemic and placental vascular responses to these agents are not well described, nor have they been compared with maternal responses. We determined steady-state responses to fetal infusions (5-7 min) of ANG II (0.023-5.73 μg/min) and phenylephrine (PHEN, 0.031-7.64 μg/min), continuously monitoring mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and umbilical blood flow (UmBF). Although both vasoconstrictors caused dose-dependent increases in MAP and umbilical vascular resistance (UmVR), responsiveness (ΔMAP and ΔUmVR) to ANG II (mol/min) was 35- to 60-fold greater than to PHEN. ANG II caused dose-dependent decreases in UmBF (2-48%); PHEN had minimal effects except at the highest dose, UmBF decreasing only 18%. Although patterns of fetal responses of MAP, UmBF, and UmVR to ANG II resembled maternal responses of MAP and uterine blood flow and uterine vascular resistance, the former were greatly attenuated. Similar observations were made with PHEN for UmBF and UmVR but not MAP. ANG II is a more potent fetal systemic and placental vasoconstrictor than PHEN; however, compared with those of the mother the responses are attenuated. Moreover, the fetoplacental vascular bed appears unresponsive to α-adrenergic stimulation, possibly reflecting a mechanism for maintaining UmBF when plasma catecholamines are elevated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H464-H472
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 28-2
StatePublished - 1990


  • blood flow
  • blood pressure
  • pregnancy
  • uteroplacental blood flow
  • vascular resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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