Cyclooxygenase inhibition and baroreflex sensitivity in humans

Kevin D Monahan, Chester A Ray
American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2005, 288 (2): H737-43
Animal studies suggest that prostanoids (i.e., such as prostacyclin) may sensitize or impair baroreceptor and/or baroreflex responsiveness depending on the site of administration and/or inhibition. We tested the hypothesis that acute inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX), the rate-limiting enzyme in prostanoid synthesis, impairs baroreflex regulation of cardiac period (R-R interval) and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) in humans and augments pressor reactivity. Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) was determined at baseline (preinfusion) and 60 min after (postinfusion) intravenous infusion of a COX antagonist (ketorolac; 45 mg) (24 +/- 1 yr; n = 12) or saline (25 +/- 1 yr; n = 12). BRS was assessed by using the modified Oxford technique (bolus intravenous infusion of nitroprusside followed by phenylephrine). BRS was quantified as the slope of the linear portion of the 1) R-R interval-systolic blood pressure relation (cardiovagal BRS) and 2) MSNA-diastolic blood pressure relation (sympathetic BRS) during pharmacological changes in arterial blood pressure. Ketorolac did not alter cardiovagal (19.4 +/- 2.1 vs. 18.4 +/- 2.4 ms/mmHg preinfusion and postinfusion, respectively) or sympathetic BRS (-2.9 +/- 0.7 vs. -2.6 +/- 0.4 arbitrary units.beat(-1).mmHg(-1)) but significantly decreased a plasma biomarker of prostanoid generation (plasma thromboxane B2) by 53 +/- 11%. Cardiovagal BRS (21.3 +/- 3.8 vs. 21.2 +/- 3.0 ms/mmHg), sympathetic BRS (-3.4 +/- 0.3 vs. -3.2 +/- 0.2 arbitrary units.beat(-1).mmHg(-1)), and thromboxane B2 (change in -1 +/- 12%) were unchanged in the control (saline infusion) group. Pressor responses to steady-state incremental (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 infusion (5 min/dose) of phenylephrine were not altered by ketorolac (n = 8). Collectively, these data indicate that acute pharmacological antagonism of the COX enzyme does not impair BRS (cardiovagal or sympathetic) or augment pressor reactivity in healthy young adults.

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