Serotonin activates a cardiogenic hypertensive chemoreflex characterized by sudden hypertension. This study in 16 awake and 12 anesthetized dogs was conducted to examine the influence of changes in breathing or heart rate as they may influence the reflex hypertension. In all 28 dogs, either anesthetized or awake, there is a variable but brief initial reflex bradycardia and in all dogs there is transient ventilatory stimulation, but the response in every dog was characterized by hypertension within at most 10 seconds after administering serotonin. Treatment with atropine regularly eliminated the reflex bradycardia and caused the hypertension to appear soon (average of 6 seconds to maximal level). Atropine did not alter the reflex stimulation of breathing. Since atropine eliminated any transient bradycardia (and associated hypotension) but did not prevent reflex changes in breathing, we do not believe that breathing alteration plays any significant hemodynamic role in this reflex. © 1983.