Stimulation of pancreatic afferents reflexly activates the cardiovascular system in cats

G. A. Ordway, J. C. Longhurst, J. H. Mitchell

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23 Scopus citations


Chemical stimulation of afferents from the stomach and gallbladder has been shown reflexly to activate the cardiovascular system. It is not known, however, whether stimulating afferents from the pancreas evoke similar reflex activity. Therefore we recorded the cardiovascular responses in cats anesthetized with methoxyflurane, while we applied capsaicin (200 μg/ml) and bradykinin (0.001-1,000 μg/ml) to the surface of the pancreas. Topically applying these algesic substances evoked cardiovascular responses that included increases in systemic arterial pressure, heart rate, left ventricular dP/dt at 40-mmHg developed pressure and systemic vascular resistance. Bilateral vagotomy at the level of the diaphragm did not diminish the cardiovascular responses evoked by capsaicin or bradykinin. In contrast, removal of the celiac and superior mesenteric ganglia abolished the cardiovascular responses demonstrated previously when capsaicin or bradykinin was applied to the pancreas. We conclude that afferent endings in the pancreas can be stimulated reflexly to increase cardiovascular function in cats. This reflex activation represents a potential mechanism for eliciting the cardiovascular changes observed during acute pancreatitis, particularly the marked vasoconstriction that may lead to renal failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R820-R826
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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