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Cardiac Physiome Society workshop: November 6-9, 2017 , Toronto


Physiological model of the full baroreflex heart control system based on experimental measurements

Model number: 0379

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This is a phenomenological ODE model of baroreflex open-loop 
control of heart rate.  An aortic blood pressure signal 
(the driving signal for the model) is transduced by afferent 
baroreceptor nerve fibers in the wall of the aortic arch into 
a neural (firing rate) signal. This transduction process is 
governed by mechanical strain in the wall of the aorta. This 
neural signal is then relayed and further processed by the 
central and peripheral nervous systems into parallel 
sympathetic and parasympathetic tone signals. Sympathetic and 
parasympathetic tones drive release of norepinephrine and 
acetylcholine, respectively, into the neuromuscular junction 
of the sinoatrial node of the heart, thereby modulating the 
pacemaker activity at the sinoatrial node. The sinoatrial 
node is the ultimate effector of heart rate, which is the model 

Parameters used to reproduce the figures in the paper were taken 
from Table 5 of the paper. All pressure data was taken over a 
period of 120 seconds at a rate of 100 samples per second. Heart 
rate data was derived from the pressure data using a high-pass 
filter while detecting the upstroke zero-crossings.

The model cannot fully account for the fast dynamics of the 
parasympathetic nervous system. Additionally, time delays in the 
peripheral nervous system are assumed to be negligible and have 
been omitted. 

The caption for Figure 8 in the paper erroneously states: 
"Data shown in A and B are from the SS and SS.13BN strains, 
respectively." and should read:
"Data shown in A and B are from the SS.13BN and SS strains, 

The strain attributions were transposed; 8A is from SS.13BN 
along with its derived graphs, C and E, while 8B is from Dahl SS 
along with D and F. The plots contained in this project are labeled 

This figure is similar to Figure 8 in the referenced publication.



The equations for this model may be viewed by running the JSim model applet and clicking on the Source tab at the bottom left of JSim's Run Time graphical user interface. The equations are written in JSim's Mathematical Modeling Language (MML). See the Introduction to MML and the MML Reference Manual. Additional documentation for MML can be found by using the search option at the Physiome home page.

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Scott M. Bugenhagen, Allen W. Cowley, Jr. and Daniel A. Beard. 
Identifying physiological origins of baroreflex dysfunction in 
salt-sensitive hypertension in the Dahl SS rat.Physiol. Genomics 42:23-41, 2010.

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Key Terms

Baroreflex, Baroreceptor, Sinoatrial Node, Regulation of Heart Rate, Aortic Blood Pressure, Physiological Model

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Please cite in any publication for which this software is used and send an email with the citation and, if possible, a PDF file of the paper to:
Or send a copy to:
The National Simulation Resource, Director J. B. Bassingthwaighte, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195-5061.

[This page was last modified 02Nov16, 2:21 pm.]

Model development and archiving support at provided by the following grants: NIH/NIBIB BE08407 Software Integration, JSim and SBW 6/1/09-5/31/13; NIH/NHLBI T15 HL88516-01 Modeling for Heart, Lung and Blood: From Cell to Organ, 4/1/07-3/31/11; NSF BES-0506477 Adaptive Multi-Scale Model Simulation, 8/15/05-7/31/08; NIH/NHLBI R01 HL073598 Core 3: 3D Imaging and Computer Modeling of the Respiratory Tract, 9/1/04-8/31/09; as well as prior support from NIH/NCRR P41 RR01243 Simulation Resource in Circulatory Mass Transport and Exchange, 12/1/1980-11/30/01 and NIH/NIBIB R01 EB001973 JSim: A Simulation Analysis Platform, 3/1/02-2/28/07.