The carotid body has recently emerged as a promising therapeutic target for treating cardiovascular disease, however the potential impact of carotid bodies removal on the dynamic cardiovascular responses to acute stressors such as exercise, hypoxia and hypercapnia in hypertension is an important safety consideration that has not been studied. We first validated a novel surgical approach to selectively resect the carotid bodies bilaterally (CBR) sparing the carotid sinus baroreflex. Second, we evaluated the impact of CBR on the cardiovascular responses to exercise, hypoxia and hypercapnia in the conscious, chronically instrumented spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats. Our results confirm that our CBR technique successfully and selectively abolished the chemoreflex, whilst preserving carotid baroreflex function. CBR produced a sustained fall in arterial pressure in the SH rat of ~20 mmHg that persisted across both dark and light phases (P<0.001), with baroreflex function curves resetting around lower arterial pressure levels. The cardiovascular and respiratory responses to moderate forced exercise were similar between CBR and Sham. In contrast, CBR abolished the pressor response to hypoxia seen in Sham animals, although the increases in heart rate and respiration were similar between Sham and CBR groups. Both the pressor and respiratory responses to 7% hypercapnia were augmented after CBR (P<0.05) compared to sham. Our finding that the carotid bodies play a critical role in maintaining arterial pressure during hypoxia has important implications when considering resection therapy of the carotid body in disease states such as hypertension as well as heart failure with sleep apnoea.
- blood pressure
- peripheral chemoreceptor
- selective ablation
Pijacka, W., Katayama, P. L., Salgado, H. C., Lincevicius, G. S., Campos, R. R., McBryde, F. D., & Paton, J. F. R. (2018). Variable role of carotid bodies in cardiovascular responses to exercise, hypoxia and hypercapnia in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Journal of Physiology, 596(15), 3201-3216. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP275487