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Am J Physiol. 1976 Feb;230(2):298-305.

Effects of vasoconstrictors on intestinal vascular resistance and oxygen extraction.


To delineate the mechanism through which vasoactive compounds alter intestinal oxygen consumption and to determine the pharmacological nature of the receptors involved, we quantitated the effects of vasoconstrictors on arteriovenous oxygen difference and on vascular resistance in isolated constant-flow perfused canine small bowel. Norepinephrine (NE) and sympathetic stimulation (SS) increased vascular resistance and depressed O2 extraction. These effects were not altered by beta-blockade, but were abolished by alpha-blockade. Since capillary filtration coefficients at constant-pressure perfusion and 86Rb extraction at constant flow are reported to diminish during NE and SS, it follows that these agents reduce O2 extraction by an alpha-adrenergic closure of precapillary sphincters. Vasopressin had similar effects which were not affected by adrenergic blocking agents. Epinephrine (Epi) in high doses or after propranolol produced the same effects as NE and SS. By contrast, Epi in low doses increased O2 and 86Rb extraction. This response to low doses of Epi was not affected by phentolamine, but was reversed by propranolol. We conclude that Epi in high doses or after propranolol depresses intestinal O2 extraction by the same mechanism as NE and SS, but the mechanism through which Epi increases intestinal O2 extraction is unclear.

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