The effects of infusion of arginine vasopressin (20 mU · kg-1 · min-1) on coronary blood flow and the proportion of the coronary microvasculature perfused was studied in rabbit myocardium. Fluorescein isothiocyanate - dextran was injected into anesthetized open-chest rabbits to identify the perfused vessels and an alkaline phosphatase stain was employed to locate the total microvasculature. Coronary blood flow (radioactive microspheres) was studied in separate groups of rabbits. Vasopressin infusion caused bradycardia (243 ± 19 to 165 ± 22 beats/min, mean ± SD) and an increase in mean blood pressure (92 ± 18 to 104 ± 12 mmHg) (1 mmHg = 133.32 Pa). Coronary blood flow decreased significantly with vasopressin from 209 ± 68 to 97 ± 36 mL · min-1 · 100 g-1. The proportion of the arteriolar bed per millimeter squared perfused decreased significantly after vasopressin from 54 ± 13 to 44 ± 21%, while the percentage of capillaries per millimeter squared increased significantly from 57 ± 6 to 67 ± 11%. There were no subepicardial versus subendocardial differences in any measured parameter. Thus, both coronary blood flow and the proportion of the arteriolar bed perfused decreased with vasopressin. However, compensation occurred in that the proportion of capillaries perfused increased. This indicated an independent level of control of the coronary arteriolar and capillary beds. These microvascular changes may help to maintain oxygen supply-demand balance with vasopressin in the heart.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)
- Coronary blood flow
- Heart vasopressin
- Myocardial capillaries