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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993 May;147(5):1233-8.

Adrenergic modulation of the pulmonary circulation during strenuous exercise in sheep.

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Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee.


In paired experiments, we exercised sheep at a constant rate of 4 mph on a treadmill and measured the hemodynamic effects of alpha receptor blockade (phentolamine 5 mg intravenously), beta receptor blockade (propranolol 1 mg intravenously), and combined alpha and beta receptor blockade. Beta blockade increased pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) at rest and during steady-state exercise compared with control runs. PVR decreased slightly at rest with alpha blockade, but it was not different during exercise from that of control runs. Combined alpha and beta blockade restored PVR to that of control runs, showing that the vasoconstrictor effect of beta blockade was due to unopposed alpha receptor activation. In all sheep an early rapid decrease in PVR within the first 20 s of the onset of exercise was followed by a smaller, slower change over the next 40 to 240 s. The early decrease in PVR was unaffected by either alpha or beta receptor blockade, suggesting that it was due to recruitment of nonmuscular microvessels. We conclude that alpha and beta receptor activation occurs during exercise but that the net vasoactive effect is neutral. The changes in PVR during normal exercise are a combination of rapid recruitment of microvessels followed by slower vasodilation of resistance vessels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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