Baroreceptor System and HTN

Posted by Ankit Gupta on Wed, Nov 16, 2016  
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Several systems contribute to the regulation of arterial blood pressure. Out of them, there is baroreceptor system, which is a simple and an excellent example of a rapidly controlling mechanism.

Baroreceptors (baro means pressure), as we all know, are the group of nerve receptors located in the outer layer of bifurcation region of carotid arteries in the neck, as well as, in the outer layer of the arch of aorta in the thorax. These nerve receptors get stimulated by the stretching of arterial walls.

Now, when you are in a hurry to reach to your office or home, sympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system becomes dominant. This result into increased heart rate (and stroke volume as well!) which in turn increase pressure in your blood vessels.  This increased pressure stretches your arterial walls thereby stimulating baroreceptor system in your body. These receptors, then, transmit nerve impulses to the vasomotor center, located in medulla oblongata of the brain stem. The vasomotor center, in turn, inhibits the number of impulses to the heart and blood vessels through the sympathetic nervous system.

Subsequently, decrease in these impulses results in decreased pumping activity of the heart and also, dilation of  peripheral blood vessels thereby allowing increased blood flow through the vessels.

Both these effects decrease your arterial pressure back to normal.


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