Static muscular contraction in anesthetized animals has been firmly established to reflexly increase arterial pressure. Although group III and IV muscle afferents are known to be responsible for this reflex pressor response, there is no evidence that the stimulation of muscle mechanoreceptors, many of which are supplied by group III fibers, plays a role in causing this contraction-induced reflex effect. To provide this evidence, we recorded renal sympathetic nerve activity in chloralose-anesthetized cats while contracting the triceps surae muscles. We found that static contraction tripled renal nerve activity within three seconds of its onset, an increase that was abolished by cutting the L6 and S2 dorsal roots. On average, the contraction-induced increase in renal nerve activity was observed 0.8 ± 0.1 seconds after the onset of this maneuver. In addition, intermittent tetanic contractions synchronized renal nerve discharge so that a burst of activity was evoked by each contraction. A similarly synchronized renal nerve discharge was evoked in paralyzed cats by eletrical stimulation of the tibial nerve at five times motor threshold, a current intensity that activates group III afferents. We conclude that, in aneshetized animal preparations, mechanoreceptors with group III afferents contribute to the reflex stimulation of renal sympathetic outflow evoked by muscular contraction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine