Reflex effects of hepatic baroreceptors on renal and cardiac sympathetic nerve activity

Am J Physiol. 1980 May;238(5):R390-4. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1980.238.5.R390.


The reflex effects of hepatic low-pressure baroreceptors on renal and cardiopulmonary sympathetic efferent nerve activity were studied in mongrel dogs anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium. Systemic blood pressure, central venous pressure, hepatic, renal, and portal venous pressures were all measured during occlusion of the thoracic vena cava above the diaphragm, below the liver, and during occlusion of the portal vein. Renal and cardiopulmonary sympathetic efferent nerve activity was continuously recorded along with the hepatic efferent nerve activity during the caval occlusions. Hepatic baroreceptor excitation resulted in marked increases in hepatic afferent nerve activity and reflex increases in renal and cardiopulmonary sympathetic efferent nerve activity without a change in heart rate. Section of the anterior hepatic nerves eliminated the reflex increase in renal efferent nerve activity, but did not eliminate the increase in cardiopulmonary sympathetic efferent nerve activity. Carotid sinus denervation, bilateral cervical vagotomy, and phrenectomy did not alter the reflex responses to hepatic baroreceptor excitation. These hepatorenal and hepatocardiopulmonary reflexes may be important reflex mechanisms that are activated during congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Denervation
  • Dogs
  • Heart / innervation*
  • Kidney / innervation*
  • Liver / innervation
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Pressoreceptors / physiology*
  • Reflex*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology*