Date of Award
Restricted Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy
Field of Study
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
John R Burk
Muenter Swift, Nicolette, Mechanisms of Post-Apneic Sympathoinhibition in Humans. Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Sciences), August, 2002, 110 pp., 14 figures, references. Apnea is accompanied by a concomitant rise in arterial pressure and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), the latter primarily due to chemoreflex stimulation and possibly the lack of sympathoinhibitory input from pulmonary stretch receptors. The progressive sympathoexcitation during apnea suggests a possible overriding of arterial baroreflex sympathoinhibitory input to sympathoregulatory centers by apnea-induced sympathoexcitatory mechanisms. Nevertheless, it is unknown whether apnea attenuates baroreflex control of MSNA. Apnea termination is accompanied by a profound and immediate sympathoinhibition, the mechanisms of which are unclear; however, potential mediators include normalization of blood gases (i.e. chemoreflex unloading), the lung inflation reflex, and arterial baroreflex stimulation. Therefore, the purpose of the current studies was to: i) determine the contribution of chemoreflex unloading to post-apneic sympathoinhibition, ii) determine the contribution of the lung inflation reflex to post-apneic sympathoinhibition, and iii) determine whether carotid baroreflex control of MSNA is altered by apnea and its termination. The first study compared MSNA during post-apneic administration of room air versus a gas mixture designed to maintain the subjects’ end-apneic alveolar gas levels. Regardless of post-apneic gas administration, post-apneic MSNA was at or below baseline pre-apneic levels; thus; chemoreflex unloading does not contribute to post-apneic sympathoinhibition. Furthermore, quantification of post-apneic MSNA associated only with the low lung volume phase of respiration, when sympathoinhibitory input from the lung inflation reflex is minimal, demonstrated that post-apneic sympathoinhibition persists even during the low lung volume phase of respiration, when sympathoinhibitory input from the lung inflation reflex is minimal, demonstrated that post-apneic sympathoinhibition persists even during the low lung volume phase of respiration. Therefore, the lung inflation reflex does not appear to be the primary mediator of post-apneic sympathoinhibition. The second study utilized neck suction (NS) and neck pressure (NP) to assess carotid baroreflex function during and following sleep apnea. The sympathoinhibitory response to -60 Torr NS was maintained throughout apnea; conversely, the sympathoexcitatory response to +30 Torr NP was attenuated for nearly one minute post-apnea. Thus, carotid baroreflex control of MSNA is not altered by apnea but is transiently attenuated by apnea termination. We propose that the carotid baroreflex-MSNA function curve resets rightward and upward during apnea. Return of the function curve to baseline upon apnea termination may partly explain the reduced MSNA response to NP post-apnea.
Swift, N. M.
"Mechanisms of Post-Apneic Symathoinhibition in Humans" Fort Worth, Tx: University of North Texas Health Science Center;