Hemodynamic effects of carcinine in the anesthetized, instrumented, open-chest rat

Charlotte Steinberg, Daniel A. Notterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the pharmacologic effect of carcinine (β- alanyl histamine), a compound that has been shown to be a positive inotrope in the isolated perfused guinea pig heart, on hemodynamics in an intact, anesthetized rat model. Design: Prospective dose-response study. Setting: Animal research laboratory of a university medical center. Subjects: Male Sprague-Dawley rats. Interventions: Eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with ketamine and midazolam. A tracheostomy tube, and central venous and arterial catheters were inserted. An electromagnetic flow probe was placed around the ascending aorta through a right thoracotomy for measurement of cardiac output. Dosages of carcinine from 0 to 10 mg/kg were infused intravenously over 30 secs, and hemodynamic parameters were measured at baseline and at peak effect. Measurements and Main Results: At dosages of 3 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg, carcinine significantly reduced mean arterial blood pressure, systemic vascular resistance index, and left ventricular stroke work index. There was no carcinine-induced effect on heart rate, central venous pressure, cardiac index, or stroke index. Lower doses of carcinine had no effect on the measured variables. Conclusions: In this open-chest rat model, the primary pharmacologic effect of carcinine is systemic arterial vasodilation. A negative inotropic effect is suggested. Hypotension is secondary to these carcinine-induced actions. These results differ from results previously published using an isolated guinea pig heart preparation. Our model suggests that efforts to develop a clinical role for carcinine should exploit vascular rather than cardiac effects. Species differences may also play a role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2042-2045
Number of pages4
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


  • arteries
  • carcinine
  • cardiac output
  • contractility
  • electromagnetic flow meter
  • heart
  • hemodynamics
  • histamine
  • hypotension
  • left ventricular stroke work
  • systemic vascular resistance


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