Bidirectional asymmetry in the neurovisceral communication for the cardiovascular control: New insights

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Abstract

The cardiovascular control involves a bidirectional functional connection between the brain and heart. We hypothesize that this connection could be extended to other organs using endocrine and autonomic nervous systems (ANS) as communication pathways. This implies a neuroendocrine interaction controlling particularly the cardiovascular function where the enzymatic cascade of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an essential role. It acts not only through its classic endocrine connection but also the ANS. In addition, the brain is functionally, anatomically, and neurochemically asymmetric. Moreover, this asymmetry goes even beyond the brain and it includes both sides of the peripheral nervous and neuroendocrine systems. We revised the available information and analyze the asymmetrical neuroendocrine bidirectional interaction for the cardiovascular control. Negative and positive correlations involving the RAS have been observed between brain, heart, kidney, gut, and plasma in physiologic and pathologic conditions. The central role of the peptides and enzymes of the RAS within this neurovisceral communication, as well as the importance of the asymmetrical distribution of the various RAS components in the pathologies involving this connection, are particularly discussed. In conclusion, there are numerous evidences supporting the existence of a neurovisceral connection with multiorgan involvement that controls, among others, the cardiovascular function. This connection is asymmetrically organized.

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