Multiple sites for the cardiovascular actions of fentanyl in rats

Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
B Gautret, H Schmitt


We studied the cardiovascular effects of intravenously administered fentanyl in normotensive rats anesthetized with pentobarbital and artificially ventilated. Fentanyl induced an immediate and short-lasting fall in blood pressure and heart rate by an action on opiate receptors localized at vagal nerve endings. Bilateral vagotomy suppressed these effects. The bradycardia, suppressed by bilateral vagotomy and reduced by previous administration of atropine, seemed to be due to a vagovagal reflex. Inhibition of the sympathetic outflow may also occur, because in pithed rats fentanyl failed to lower blood pressure. This masks a direct central stimulation of sympathetic outflow, because in bilaterally vagotomized rats fentanyl induced an alpha-adrenoceptor-blocking drug-sensitive hypertension which was insensitive to adrenalectomy. In addition, stimulation of cardiac opiate receptors by high doses of fentanyl lead to bradycardia in pithed rats. We conclude that in the rat, fentanyl administered intravenously can act at three different levels on cardiovascular regulation: the vagal nerve endings, the brain, and the heart.


May 8, 1985·European Journal of Pharmacology·B Gautret, H Schmitt
Jan 1, 1993·Life Sciences·K E Barke, L B Hough
Jun 1, 1988·Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System·S R VallanceD C Randall
Jan 1, 1989·Progress in Neurobiology·M Yeadon, I Kitchen
Apr 6, 2004·Brain Research·Kathleen J S GriffioenD Mendelowitz
Aug 1, 1998·International Journal of Cardiology·B H Scott
Aug 23, 2005·American Journal of Veterinary Research·Kurt A GrimmTomas Martin-Jimenez
Feb 27, 2007·Journal of Clinical Anesthesia·James FeldRanga C Ananda
Feb 1, 1994·Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia·P T Sutera, C E Smith
Mar 1, 1988·Journal of Autonomic Pharmacology·J Roquebert, C Delgoulet
Sep 21, 2018·Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology·Adian IzwanShane K Maloney
Dec 1, 2001·Anesthesia and Analgesia·M TanakaT Nishikawa
May 25, 2004·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Tania B MahindaBradley K Taylor

Related Concepts

Tertatolol, (+-)-isomer
Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
Anesthesia Procedures
Atropine Sulfate Anhydrous
Diastolic Blood Pressure
Decorticate State
Pulse Rate

Related Feeds


Bradyarrhythmias are slow heart rates. Symptoms may include syncope, dizziness, fatigure, shortness of breath, and chest pains. Find the latest research on bradyarrhythmias here.

Adrenergic Receptors: Trafficking

Adrenergic receptor trafficking is an active physiological process where adrenergic receptors are relocated from one region of the cell to another or from one type of cell to another. Discover the latest research on adrenergic receptor trafficking here.

Antihypertensive Agents: Mechanisms of Action

Antihypertensive drugs are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) which aims to prevent the complications of high blood pressure, such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Discover the latest research on antihypertensive drugs and their mechanism of action here.