Role of the carotid body chemoreceptors in baroreflex control of blood pressure during hypoglycaemia in humans

Jacqueline K. Limberg, Jennifer L. Taylor, Simmi Dube, Rita Basu, Ananda Basu, Michael J. Joyner, Erica A. Wehrwein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

New Findings: What is the central question of this study? Activation of the carotid body chemoreceptors with hypoxia alters baroreceptor-mediated responses in humans. We aimed to examine whether this relationship can be translated to other chemoreceptor stimuli (i.e. hypoglycaemia). What is the main finding and its importance? We show that hypoglycaemia-mediated changes in heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity cannot be attributed exclusively to the carotid chemoreceptors; however, the chemoreceptors play a role in resetting the baroreflex working range during hypoglycaemia. These results provide a potential mechanism for impaired glycaemic control and increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias in patients with carotid chemoreceptor overactivity (i.e. sleep apnoea). Activation of the carotid body chemoreceptors with hypoxia alters baroreceptor-mediated responses. We aimed to examine whether this relationship can be translated to other chemoreceptor stimuli (i.e. hypoglycaemia) by testing the following hypotheses: (i) activation of the carotid body chemoreceptors with hypoglycaemia would reduce spontaneous cardiac baroreflex sensitivity (sCBRS) in healthy humans; and (ii) desensitization of the carotid chemoreceptors with hyperoxia would restore sCBRS to baseline levels during hypoglycaemia. Ten young healthy adults completed two 180 min hyperinsulinaemic [2 mU (kg fat-free mass)-1 min-1], hypoglycaemic (~3.2 μmol ml-1) clamps, separated by at least 1 week and randomized to normoxia (arterial partial pressure of O2, 122 ± 10 mmHg) or hyperoxia (arterial partial pressure of O2, 424 ± 123 mmHg; to blunt activation of the carotid body glomus cells). Changes in heart rate, blood pressure, plasma catecholamines, heart rate variability (HRV) and sCBRS were assessed. During hypoglycaemia, HRV and sCBRS were reduced (P < 0.05) and the baroreflex working range was shifted to higher heart rates. When hyperoxia was superimposed on hypoglycaemia, there was a greater reduction in blood pressure and a blunted rise in heart rate when compared with normoxic conditions (P < 0.05); however, there was no detectable effect of hyperoxia on sCBRS or HRV during hypoglycaemia (P > 0.05). In summary, hypoglycaemia-mediated changes in HRV and sCBRS cannot be attributed exclusively to the carotid chemoreceptors; however, the chemoreceptors appear to play a role in resetting the baroreflex working range during hypoglycaemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-650
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental physiology
Volume99
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)

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