A neural set point for the long-term control of arterial pressure: Beyond the arterial baroreceptor reflex

John W. Osborn, Frédéric Jacob, Pilar Guzman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Arterial baroreceptor reflex control of renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) has been proposed to play a role in long-term control of arterial pressure. The hypothesis that the "set point" of the acute RSNA baroreflex curve determines the long-term level of arterial pressure is presented and challenged. Contrary to the hypothesis, studies on the long-term effects of sinoaortic denervation (SAD) on arterial pressure and RSNA, as well as more recent studies of chronic baroreceptor "unloading" on arterial pressure, suggest that the basal levels of sympathetic nerve activity and arterial pressure are regulated independent of arterial baroreceptor input to the brainstem. Studies of the effect of SAD on the long-term salt sensitivity of arterial pressure are consistent with a short-term role, rather than a long-term role for the arterial baroreceptor reflex in regulation of arterial pressure during changes in dietary salt intake. Renal denervation studies suggest that renal nerves contribute to maintenance of the basal levels of arterial pressure. However, evidence that baroreflex control of the kidney plays a role in the maintenance of arterial pressure during changes in dietary salt intake is lacking. It is proposed that a "baroreflex-independent" sympathetic control system must exist for the long-term regulation of sympathetic nerve activity and arterial pressure. The concept of a central nervous system "set point" for long-term control of mean arterial pressure (CNS-MAP set point), and its involvement in the pathogenesis of hypertension, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R846-R855
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume288
Issue number4 57-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

Keywords

  • Baroreflex
  • Hypertension
  • Sympathetic nervous system

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