Baroreflex Control of Heart Rate in a Canine Model of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
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We have recently demonstrated the development of systemic hypertension in a canine model of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but the underlying physiological mechanisms were not identified. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of OSA on arterial baroreceptor control of heart rate (HR) in this canine model. OSA was produced in three dogs for 1 to 3 mo. Baroreflex control of HR was determined with graded infusions of vasoactive agents (phenylephrine and nitroprusside) administered over 30 to 60 s, during which steady-state systolic blood pressure (BP) and cardiac R-R interval responses were recorded. BP was measured with a permanently implanted arterial catheter and a telemetry system. Although, as previously reported, OSA resulted in increases in daytime (awake) mean BP of 6.0 to 26.8 mm Hg, there was no change in daytime baseline HR or in the slope of the systolic BP-R-R interval curve (p > 0.2). The findings demonstrate that OSA in the dog is associated with resetting of the baroreceptors to a higher pressure, but no change in baroreflex sensitivity.
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