The role of neurohumoral mechanisms in the regulation of cardiovascular functions and the effects of ethanol (EOH) on these mechanisms were examined in hemorrhaged conscious Wistar rats. The rats were bled at a constant rate (2 ml/kg/min) through the femoral artery until mean arterial pressure (MAP) was reduced by 30 mmHg. We studied the responses to hemorrhage 1) under normal conditions (Normal), and after pretreatments with 2) neural blockade (NB), pentolinium, 3) arginine vasopressin V1-receptor antagonist (AVPX) + NB, 4) angiotensin II ATI-receptor antagonist (AngIIX) + NB, 5) combined humoral blockade (HB), and 6) neurohumoral blockade. Intravenous administration of 30% EOH (6.3 ml/kg) attenuated the baroreceptor reflex sensitivity, and enhanced the depressor action of AngIIX. During hemorrhage, NB produced a faster fall ill MAP than Normal both in the saline and EOH groups. However, HB accelerated the rate of fall in MAP only in the EOH group. The recovery from hemorrhagic hypotension was not different between NB and Normal rats, but was attenuated in HB rats in the saline group. Under NB, AngIIX, but not AVPX, retarded the recovery rate compared with NB alone. EOH attenuated the recovery of MAP after hemorrhage in Normal rats, but completely abolished the recovery in HB rats. We conclude that 1) the maintenance of MAP during hemorrhage is mediated almost entirely by the autonomic functions, 2) angiotensin II plays an important role in the recovery from hemorrhagic hypotension, but AVP assumes little importance, 3) AVP release largely depends on the changes in blood volume, whereas renin release depends on the changes in blood pressure rather than blood volume, and 4) EOH increases the dependence of cardiovascular regulation on angiotensin II and impairs the recovery from hemorrhagic hypotension through the attenuation of autonomic functions.
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