Although group III and IV fibers are known to compose the afferent pathway of the reflex arc causing the pressor response to static muscular contraction, little is known about the neurotransmitters released by these muscle afferents. Somatostatin might be one of these neurotransmitters because this peptide is found in the terminals of fine afferent fibers ending in the dorsal horn of the lumbar spinal cord. Therefore, in chloralose-anesthetized cats, the reflex pressor response to static contraction was examined before and after subarachnoid injections onto the lumbosacral cord of a peptide antagonist to somatostatin. We found that before giving the antagonist, the pressor response to contraction of the triceps surae muscles in 12 cats averaged 33 ± 4 mm Hg, while 37 ± 7 minutes after giving the antagonist, the pressor response averaged only 18 ± 3 mm Hg (p < 0.001). In contrast, the antagonist to somatostatin had no effect on either the pressor response to electrical stimulation of the cut central end of the sciatic nerve or the pressor response to stimulation of the posterior diencephalon. Furthermore, subarachnoid injection of a peptide antagonist to luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone had no effect on the reflex pressor response to static contraction. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that somatostatin plays a role in the spinal transmission of the contraction-induced pressor reflex arising from hind limb skeletal muscle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine