Baroreceptors are small receptors located within the walls of vessels. Like the name suggests these receptors detect changes in the blood pressure (by detecting changes in the stretch of the wall of the vessels). If a baroreceptor detects a change in blood pressure it can send a feedback signal to the autonomic nervous system to regulate the blood pressure back to normal.
The baroreceptors are especially important in many cardiovascular reflexes which regulate the blood pressure quickly. When the receptors are activated, they initiate a reflex which regulates the blood pressure back to normal.
Baroreceptors are found in many parts of the circulatory system:
- In high-pressure parts
- Carotid sinus (most important)
- Aortic arch
- Cerebral blood vessels
- In low-pressure parts
- Large veins
The specific reflexes are described in topic 38.
36. Autoregulation of blood flow in tissues and organs
38. Reflex control mechanisms of circulation