Psychological stressors of different natures can induce different shies of autonomic control on cardiac electrical activity, with either a sympathetic or a parasympathetic prevalence. Arrhythmia occurrence, R-R interval variability, and plasma catecholamine elevations were measured in male wild-type rats exposed to either a social stressor (defeat) or a nonsocial challenge (restraint). Electrocardiograms were telemetrically recorded, and blood samples were withdrawn through jugular vein catheters from normal, freely moving animals. Defeat produced a much higher incidence of arrhythmias (mostly ventricular premature beats), which were mainly observed in the 60-s time periods after attacks. The social challenge also induced a much stronger reduction of average R-R interval, a lower R-R interval variability (as estimated by the time-domain parameters standard deviation of mean R-R interval duration, coefficient of variance, and root mean square of successive differences in R-R interval duration), and higher elevations of venous plasma catecholamines compared with restraint. These autonomic and/or neuroendocrine data indicate that a social stressor such as defeat is characterized by both a higher sympathetic activation and a lower parasympathetic antagonism compared with a nonsocial restraint challenge, which results in a higher risk for ventricular arrhythmias.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - Oct-1997|
- telemetry electrocardiogram
- autonomic nervous system
- SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH
- CONSCIOUS DOGS