Background - The aim of this study was to determine the mechanism by which the calcium channel promoter BAY y 5959 affects the control of heart rate and baroreflex sensitivity in conscious dogs with pacing-induced heart failure (HF). Methods and Results - We compared responses to BAY y 5959, which increases inotropy and decreases chronotropy, with those to norepinephrine (NE), which coincidentally exerts the same directional effects on inotropy and chronotropy, albeit through different mechanisms, in the presence and absence of ganglionic blockade both in control and in HF. Both BAY y 5959 and NE elicit direct effects on the heart and indirect effects through activation of reflexes, primarily the sinoaortic baroreceptor reflex. BAY y 5959 still reduced heart rate in dogs with arterial baroreceptor denervation, but not after ganglionic blockade. HF induced classic catecholamine desensitization to the inotropic effects of NE and blunted reflex bradycardia. In contrast, inotropic responses to BAY y 5959 were preserved in HF. Surprisingly, the autonomically mediated bradycardia induced by BAY y 5959 was also preserved in HF. Baroreflex sensitivity was assessed in control and in HF by pulse interval-systolic arterial blood pressure (PI/SAP) slopes constructed in response to pharmacological alterations in arterial pressure. HF depressed the PI/SAP slope from 11.5±1.3 to 4.8±0.9 ms/mm Hg, but during BAY y 5959 infusion in HF, the PI/SAP slope was restored to 24.1±5.2 ms/mm Hg. To assess central versus peripheral actions of BAY y 5959, the agent was infused with intra-carotid artery perfusion at a low dose, which acted centrally but did not have an effect peripherally. Under these conditions, it still decreased heart rate and restored baroreflex sensitivity (PI/SAP slope, 12.7±2.8 ms/mm Hg). Conclusions - Thus, the calcium promoter restores arterial baroreflex sensitivity in HF. Based on intra-carotid artery experiments, this occurs through a central nervous system and vagal mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)
- Nervous system