Q:

How is blood pressure regulated in the body?

A:

Quick Answer

Blood pressure is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and the kidneys, according to researchers from Christian Medical College. Blood pressure is the force of blood in the arteries, as defined by the American Heart Association.

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Full Answer

The sympathetic nervous system plays a role in short-term and long-term regulation of blood pressure, as reported by researchers from Christian Medical College. The aortic arch and carotid sinus of the heart contain baroreceptors that decrease heart rate in response to increased pressure in the arteries. The ventricles and atria contain low-pressure receptors that increase blood pressure by suppressing the release of vasopressin and increasing the release of atrial natriuretic peptide. Vasopressin, also called anti-diuretic hormone, decreases contraction of the smooth muscles. Atrial natriuretic peptide inhibits the sympathetic nervous system.

The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system controls the amount of fluid in the circulatory system, the pressure within the arteries and the amount of blood that flows through the arteries and capillaries, according to Dr. Steven Atlas. This system is made up of renin, angiotensin, aldosterone, angiotensin I, angiotensin II and angiotensin-converting enzyme, as stated by the researchers from Christian Medical College. All of the chemicals in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system work together to increase or decrease blood pressure as needed. The kidneys participate in blood pressure regulation by manufacturing angiotensin and renin, according to Baxter Renal.

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