Autonomic control of large coronary arteries and resistance vessels

Mark A. Young, Delvin R. Knight, Stephen F. Vatner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The resistance coronary vessels as well as the large coronary arteries are regulated to a major extent by autonomic mechanisms. Neural and pharmacologic activation of α-adrenergic pathways can reduce coronary blood flow and the cross-sectional area of large coronary arteries, despite concomitant increases in coronary distending pressure. Activation of either β1- or β2-adrenergic receptors can induce potent dilation of both coronary resistance vessels and large coronary arteries, whereas blockade of these receptors can elicit profound constriction in the presence of elevated β-adrenergic tone. The regulation of the coronary circulation by parasympathetic mechanism remains the most controversial, likely because of major species differences. Parasympathetic coronary dilation is uniformly observed in the dog, but in primates, important aspects of parasympathetic-mediated coronary vasoconstriction have also been demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-234
Number of pages24
JournalProgress in Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomic control of large coronary arteries and resistance vessels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this