We have examined the changes in systemic blood volume and regional venous outflow from the splanchnic, coronary, and other remaining vascular beds in response to acute hypercapnia or hypoxic hypercapnia in dogs, using cardiopulmonary bypass and a reservoir. Hypercapnia (PCO2 = 105 mmHg) (1 mmHg = 133 Pa) and hypoxic ia (PO2 = 23 mmHg, PCO2 = 99 mmHg) caused marked decreases in systemic blood volume of 14 ± 3 and 16 ± 3 mL/kg in spleen-intact dogs, and 3 ± 2 and 10 ± 2 mL/kg in splenectomized dogs, respectively. Splanchnic venous outflow increased by 12% at 3.5 min hypercapnia, whereas it decreased by 60% at 3.5 min hypoxic hypercapnia. Coronary venous outflow increased by 85 and 400% at 3.5 min hypercapnia and hypoxic hypercapnia, respectively. Sympathetic efferent nerve activity revealed a significant augmentation during hypoxic hypercapnia and a relatively smaller increase (30% of the response to hypoxic hypercapnia) during hypercapnia. Carotid and aortic chemoreceptor and baroreceptor denervation attenuated significantly the response of systemic blood volume to hypercapnia and hypoxic hypercapnia. The regional venous outflow responses to hypercapnia were not altered after chemodenervation, but those to hypoxic hypercapnia were significantly attenuated after chemodenervation. These results suggest that acute hypercapnia caused a marked decrease in vascular capacitance owing primarily to an increase in sympathetic efferent nerve activity via chemoreceptor stimulation. They also indicate that blood flow to the splanchnic vascular bed during hypercapnia increased (even though the cardiac output was constant), whereas it increased to the extrasplanchnic and coronary vascular beds during hypoxic hypercapnia.
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