The adrenergic regulation of the cardiovascular system in the South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus

Gina L J Galli, Nini Skovgaard, Augusto S. Abe, Edwin W. Taylor, Tobias Wang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The present study investigates adrenergic regulation of the systemic and pulmonary circulations of the anaesthetised South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus. Haemodynamic measurements were made following bolus injections of adrenaline and adrenergic antagonists administered through a systemic arterial catheter. Adrenaline caused a marked systemic vasoconstriction that was abolished by phentolamine, indicating this response was mediated through α-adrenergic receptors. Injection of phentolamine gave rise to a pronounced vasodilatation (systemic conductance (G sys) more than doubled), while injection of propranolol caused a systemic vasoconstriction, pointing to a potent α-adrenergic, and a weaker β-adrenergic tone in the systemic vasculature of Crotalus. Overall, the pulmonary vasculature was far less responsive to adrenergic stimulation than the systemic circulation. Adrenaline caused a small but non-significant pulmonary vasodilatation and there was tendency of reducing this dilatation after either phentolamine or propranolol. Injection of phentolamine increased pulmonary conductance (G pul), while injection of propranolol produced a small pulmonary constriction, indicating that α-adrenergic and β-adrenergic receptors contribute to a basal regulation of the pulmonary vasculature. Our results suggest adrenergic regulation of the systemic vasculature, rather than the pulmonary, may be an important factor in the development of intracardiac shunts. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)510-520
    Number of pages10
    JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


    • Adrenaline
    • Adrenergic stimulation
    • Cardiovascular regulation
    • Pulmonary circulation
    • Reptile
    • Snake
    • Systemic circulation


    Dive into the research topics of 'The adrenergic regulation of the cardiovascular system in the South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this