Baroreceptors play a pivotal role in the regulation of blood pressure through moment to moment sensing of arterial blood pressure and providing information to the central nervous system to make autonomic adjustments to maintain appropriate tissue perfusion. A recent publication by Zeng and colleagues (Zeng WZ, Marshall KL, Min S, Daou I, Chapleau MW, Abboud FM, Liberles SD, Science 362: 464-467, 2018) suggests the mechanosensitive ion channels Piezo1 and Piezo2 represent the cellular mechanism by which baroreceptor nerve endings sense changes in arterial blood pressure. However, before Piezo1 and Piezo2 are accepted as the sensor of baroreceptors, the question must be asked of what criteria are necessary to establish this and how well the report of Zeng and colleagues (Zeng WZ, Marshall KL, Min S, Daou I, Chapleau MW, Abboud FM, Liberles SD, Science 362: 464-467, 2018) satisfies these criteria. We briefly review baroreceptor function, outline criteria that a putative neuronal sensor of blood pressure must satisfy, and discuss whether the recent findings of Zeng and colleagues suitably meet these criteria. Despite the provocative hypothesis, there are significant concerns regarding the evidence supporting a role of Piezo1/Piezo2 in arterial baroreceptor function.
- Blood pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas