Vasopressin contributes to the cardiovascular response to dynamic exercise

Charles L Stebbins, J. D. Symons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Vasopressin is a powerful vasoconstrictor that is released into the systemic circulation during exercise. We tested the hypothesis that this peptide contributes to the cardiovascular response during treadmill exercise in the pig. Seventeen miniswine were instrumented with epicardial electrocardiogram leads, left atrial and aortic catheters, and a left ventricular pressure transducer for measurement of heart rate (HR), regional blood flow, arterial blood pressure (MAP), and myocardial contractility [first derivative of left ventricular pressure (dP/dt) at 40 mmHg developed pressure] at rest and during exercise. At a work intensity of 80% of each animal's maximal HR reserve, exercise-induced increases in MAP, HR, dP/dt at 40 mmHg developed pressure, and cardiac output were measured. On a separate day, the workload performed by each animal was replicated in the presence of selective vasopressin V1-receptor inhibition using the specific V1 antagonist, [d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)]-arginine vasopressin (10-14 μg/kg iv). During exercise, MAP was lower (96 ± 3 vs. 104 ± 2 mmHg) and cardiac output was higher (13.5 ± 0.6 vs. 12.6 ± 1.0 l/min) in the presence of V1-receptor blockade than during unblocked conditions, respectively. Furthermore, we observed an attenuation of exercise-induced decreases in blood flow to the colon. Increases in vascular resistance in the stomach, small intestine, colon, and pancreas also were diminished by V1-receptor inhibition. However, HR and myocardial contractile responses to exercise were not affected. These results suggest that vasopressin contributes to increases in MAP and to the redistribution of cardiac output during dynamic exercise in the miniswine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 33-5
StatePublished - 1993


  • cardiac output
  • miniswine
  • regional blood flow
  • vasopressin V receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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