We examined the effects of physiologic infusions of arginine vasopressin (AVP) on cardiovascular hemodynamics and on reflex responses initiated by decreasing cardiopulmonary baroreceptor stimulation (with lower body negative pressure) in 10 healthy, captopril-pretreated young men (19-27 yr). Their responses were compared with those of four volunteers given isosmotic infusion. Heart rate, stroke volume, blood pressure, and forearm blood flow were measured by electrocardiography, impedance cardiography, radial artery cannulation, and strain gauge plethysmography. Two 55-min infusions of AVP at rates of 0.15 and 0.40 ng/kg per min increased average plasma concentrations from control levels of 5 pg/ml to 18 and 36 pg/ml, respectively. These infusions resulted in progressive reductions of heart rate and cardiac output and increases of forearm and total peripheral resistance. Blood pressure increases were significant only during the larger AVP infusion rate. Lower body negative pressure provoked reflex increases of total peripheral resistance. These increases were enhanced 60% during AVP infusion compared with increases during control (pre-AVP). Baseline measurements and reflex responses were unchanged by isosmotic infusions. These results demonstrate that AVP has profound effects on cardiovascular function and augments cardiopulmonary baroreflex-mediated increases of peripheral resistance in man.


T J Ebert, A W Cowley Jr, M Skelton


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