Carotid baroreceptor stimulation alters cutaneous vascular conductance during whole-body heating in humans

David M. Keller, Scott L. Davis, David A. Low, Manabu Shibasaki, Peter B. Raven, Craig G. Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Prior studies investigating carotid baroreflex control of the cutaneous vasculature have yielded mixed findings. However, previously used methodological and analytical techniques may limit the ability to detect carotid baroreflex-mediated changes in cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC). The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that dynamic carotid baroreceptor stimulation (i.e. 5 s trials) using neck pressure (NP, simulated carotid hypotension) and neck suction (NS, simulated carotid hypertension) will decrease and increase CVC, respectively, during normothermic and whole-body heating conditions in resting humans. Data were obtained from nine subjects (age, 31 ± 2 year). The ratio of forearm skin blood flux (laser-Doppler flowmetry) and arterial blood pressure (Finapres) was used as an index of CVC. Multiple 5 s trials of NP (+40Torr) and NS (-60Torr), as well as breath-hold/airflow control trials, were applied during end-expiratory breath-holds while subjects were normotheric and heat stressed (change in core temperature ∼0.75°C). CVC responses to each NP and NS trial were averaged into 1 s intervals during the following periods: 3 s prestimulus, 5 s during stimulus, and 5 s poststimulus. Peak CVC responses (3 s average) to NP and NS were compared to prestimulus values using paired t test. During normothermia, NP decreased CVC by 0.032 ± 0.007 arbitrary units (a.u.) mmHg-1; (P < 0.05); however, breath-hold/airflow control trials resulted in similar decreases in CVC. NS did not change CVC (Δ=0.002 ± 0.005 a.u. mmHg-1; P = 0.63). During whole-body heating, NP decreased CVC (by 0.16 ± 0.04 a.u. mmHg-1; (P < 0.05), whereas NS increased CVC by 0.07 ± 0.03 a.u. mmHg-1; (P < 0.05). Furthermore, these changes were greater than, or directionally different from, the breath-hold/airflow control trials. These findings indicate that carotid baroreceptor stimulation elicits dynamic changes in CVC and that these changes are more apparent during whole-body heating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-933
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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