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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;897:198-211.

Endogenous vasopressin modulates the cardiovascular responses to exercise.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


The role of brain-stem vasopressinergic projections in the genesis of reflex bradycardia and in the modulation of heart rate control during exercise is discussed on the basis of both changes in endogenous peptide content and heart rate changes observed during exercise. Dynamic running caused an increase in vasopressin content specifically in dorsal and ventral brain-stem areas. Rats pretreated with vasopressin or the V1 receptor antagonist into the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) showed a significant potentiation or a marked blunting of the exercise tachycardia, respectively, without any change in the blood pressure response. It is proposed that long-descending vasopressinergic pathways from the hypothalamus to the NTS serves as one link between the two main neural controllers of the circulation, that is, the central command and feedback control mechanisms driven by the peripheral receptors signals. Therefore vasopressinergic input contributes to the adjustment of heart rate response (and cardiac output) to the circulatory demand during exercise.

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