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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of cardiac nerves in the cardiovascular response to cocaine in conscious dogs.

BACKGROUND: Although the cardiovascular toxicity of cocaine is well recognized, considerable controversy remains as to the relative contribution of local norepinephrine reuptake inhibition versus central stimulatory effects of cocaine in eliciting its cardiovascular actions. The purpose of the present study was to determine the role of cardiac nerves in mediating the left ventricular (LV) and coronary hemodynamic responses to cocaine. METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied the cardiovascular response to acute cocaine administration (1 mg/kg) in 10 intact, conscious dogs and 6 dogs with ventricular denervation (VD). There were no significant differences in baseline hemodynamic parameters or plasma catecholamines between the 2 groups. In response to acute cocaine, LV and coronary hemodynamic responses were enhanced in the VD dogs. The enhanced systemic pressor and heart rate responses in VD dogs suggest that cardiac nerves mitigate the response to cocaine through ventricular mechanoreceptors rather than mediating the responses. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that peripheral blockade of norepinephrine reuptake is not the principal mechanism of the acute cardiac effects of cocaine. Rather, cardiac nerves modulate the effects of cocaine through baroreflex mechanisms. Thus, individual differences in baroreflex sensitivity may explain the hemodynamic variability observed in response to cocaine.[1]


  1. Role of cardiac nerves in the cardiovascular response to cocaine in conscious dogs. Shannon, R.P., Mathier, M.A., Shen Yt, n.u.l.l. Circulation (2001) [Pubmed]
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