Effects of chronic smoke exposure on the cardiovascular responses to acute nicotine infusion in the rat

Kirk W. Barron, Cheryl M. Heesch, Bernard P. Fleming, Chen Yie Chien, John N. Diana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rats were exposed daily to cigarette smoke for 17-22 weeks in order to characterize mean arterial pressure and regional hemodynamic effects of chronic smoke exposure and to determine if cardiovascular reactivity to acute nicotine infusions is altered by chronic smoke exposure. Urethane-anesthetized animals were instrumented with miniaturized pulsed-Doppler flow probes on the iliac and mesenteric vascular beds. Under resting conditions sham-smoked and smoke-exposed animals had similar levels of mean arterial pressure and mesenteric blood flow; however, resting heart rate was lower in the smoke-exposed group, while iliac blood flow was elevated in the smoke-exposed group. Acute nicotine infusion (6.25, 12.5 and 25 μg/kg per min) produced equivalent, dose-dependent pressor effects as well as increases in iliac and mesenteric resistance in sham and smoke-exposed groups. Thus, chronic cigarette smoke-exposure in rats may exert significant cardiovascular effects other than on arterial pressure such as lowered heart rate and elevated blood flow to skeletal muscle beds, while cardiovascular responses to nicotine are not altered by chronic smoke-exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 9 Feb 1988


  • Blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Heart rate
  • Hemodynamics
  • Nicotine


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