Sympathetic nerve activity and simulated diving in healthy humans

Abu Shamsuzzaman, Michael John Ackerman, Fatima Sert Kuniyoshi, Valentina Accurso, Diane Davison, Raouf S. Amin, Virend Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal of our study was to develop a simple and practical method for simulating diving in humans using facial cold exposure and apnea stimuli to measure neural and circulatory responses during the stimulated diving reflex. We hypothesized that responses to simultaneous facial cold exposure and apnea (simulated diving) would be synergistic, exceeding the sum of responses to individual stimuli. We studied 56 volunteers (24 female and 32 male), average age of 39. years. All subjects were healthy, free of cardiovascular and other diseases, and on no medications. Although muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), blood pressure, and vascular resistance increased markedly during both early and late phases of simulated diving, significant reductions in heart rate were observed only during the late phase. Total MSNA during simulated diving was greater than combined MSNA responses to the individual stimuli. We found that simulated diving is a powerful stimulus to sympathetic nerve traffic with significant bradycardia evident in the late phase of diving and eliciting synergistic sympathetic and parasympathetic responses. Our data provide insight into autonomic triggers that could help explain catastrophic cardiovascular events that may occur during asphyxia or swimming, such as in patients with obstructive sleep apnea or congenital long QT syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-78
Number of pages5
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Volume181
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Diving
Apnea
Muscles
Long QT Syndrome
Asphyxia
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Bradycardia
Vascular Resistance
Volunteers
Healthy Volunteers
Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Rate
Blood Pressure

Keywords

  • Arrhythmias
  • Bradycardia
  • Diving
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Microneurography
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems

Cite this

Sympathetic nerve activity and simulated diving in healthy humans. / Shamsuzzaman, Abu; Ackerman, Michael John; Kuniyoshi, Fatima Sert; Accurso, Valentina; Davison, Diane; Amin, Raouf S.; Somers, Virend.

In: Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, Vol. 181, No. 1, 2014, p. 74-78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shamsuzzaman, Abu ; Ackerman, Michael John ; Kuniyoshi, Fatima Sert ; Accurso, Valentina ; Davison, Diane ; Amin, Raouf S. ; Somers, Virend. / Sympathetic nerve activity and simulated diving in healthy humans. In: Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical. 2014 ; Vol. 181, No. 1. pp. 74-78.
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