Global Reach 2018: sympathetic neural and hemodynamic responses to submaximal exercise in Andeans with and without chronic mountain sickness

Alexander B. Hansen, Sachin B. Amin, Florian Hofstätter, Hendrik Mugele, Lydia L. Simpson, Christopher Gasho, Tony G. Dawkins, Michael M. Tymko, Philip N. Ainslie, Francisco C. Villafuerte, Christopher M. Hearon, Justin S. Lawley, Gilbert Moralez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Andeans with chronic mountain sickness (CMS) and polycythemia have similar maximal oxygen uptakes to healthy Andeans. Therefore, this study aimed to explore potential adaptations in convective oxygen transport, with a specific focus on sympathetically mediated vasoconstriction of nonactive skeletal muscle. In Andeans with (CMS+, n = 7) and without (CMS-, n = 9) CMS, we measured components of convective oxygen delivery, hemodynamic (arterial blood pressure via intra-arterial catheter), and autonomic responses [muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA)] at rest and during steady-state submaximal cycling exercise [30% and 60% peak power output (PPO) for 5 min each]. Cycling caused similar increases in heart rate, cardiac output, and oxygen delivery at both workloads between both Andean groups. However, at 60% PPO, CMS+ had a blunted reduction in Δtotal peripheral resistance (CMS-, -10.7 ± 3.8 vs. CMS+, -4.9 ± 4.1 mmHg·L-1·min-1; P = 0.012; d = 1.5) that coincided with a greater Δforearm vasoconstriction (CMS-, -0.2 ± 0.6 vs. CMS+, 1.5 ± 1.3 mmHg·mL-1·min-1; P = 0.008; d = 1.7) and a rise in Δdiastolic blood pressure (CMS-, 14.2 ± 7.2 vs. CMS+, 21.6 ± 4.2 mmHg; P = 0.023; d = 1.2) compared with CMS-. Interestingly, although MSNA burst frequency did not change at 30% or 60% of PPO in either group, at 60% Δburst incidence was attenuated in CMS+ (P = 0.028; d = 1.4). These findings indicate that in Andeans with polycythemia, light intensity exercise elicited similar cardiovascular and autonomic responses compared with CMS-. Furthermore, convective oxygen delivery is maintained during moderate-intensity exercise despite higher peripheral resistance. In addition, the elevated peripheral resistance during exercise was not mediated by greater sympathetic neural outflow, thus other neural and/or nonneural factors are perhaps involved.NEW & NOTEWORTHY During submaximal exercise, convective oxygen transport is maintained in Andeans suffering from polycythemia. Light intensity exercise elicited similar cardiovascular and autonomic responses compared with healthy Andeans. However, during moderate-intensity exercise, we observed a blunted reduction in total peripheral resistance, which cannot be ascribed to an exaggerated increase in muscle sympathetic nerve activity, indicating possible contributions from other neural and/or nonneural mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H844-H856
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology
Volume322
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2022

Keywords

  • autonomic function
  • chronic mountain sickness
  • convective oxygen delivery
  • exercise hemodynamics
  • muscle sympathetic nerve activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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