It is a great honor and pleasure for me to introduce this book; an honor, because of the scientific renown and authority of the investigators who have edited the volume and contributed the chapters; a pleasure, because my own long-lasting interest in the baroreflexes has always gone in the same directions as those along which the authors of this book have conceived and organized their work. It is particularly meaningful, in my opinion, that the very title of this volume underlines the integrative functions and the clinical aspects of baroreceptor reflexes. Under the aspect of integration, it is more and more apparent that baroreceptor reflexes, though preponderantly influencing cardiovascular functions, are not limited to cardiovascular control. Their influence on respiration has been well known since the earliest studies on baroreflexes, and wider influences have more recently been shown, e. g. , on hormone release, on sleep and vigilance, and on emotional behavior. Even within the scope of cardiovascular regulation, the integrated action of baroreflexes is not only directly exerted on the heart and blood vessels, but is also exerted through more devious but no less important routes, such as renin release from juxtaglomerular cells and sodium and water reabsorption by the renal tubules.
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