Attenuated sympathetic nerve responses after 24 hours of bed rest

Mazhar H. Khan, Allen R. Kunselman, Urs A. Leuenberger, William R. Davidson, Chester A. Ray, Kristen S. Gray, Cynthia S. Hogeman, Lawrence I. Sinoway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Bed rest reduces orthostatic tolerance. Despite decades of study, the cause of this phenomenon remains unclear. In this report we examined hemodynamic and sympathetic nerve responses to graded lower body negative pressure (LBNP) before and after 24 h of bed rest. LBNP allows for baroreceptor disengagement in a graded fashion. We measured heart rate (HR), cardiac output (HR x stroke volume obtained by echo Doppler), and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) during a progressive and graded LBNP paradigm. Negative pressure was increased by 10 mmHg every 3 min until presyncope or completion of -60 mmHg. After bed rest, LBNP tolerance was reduced in 11 of 13 subjects (P < .023), HR was greater (P < .002), cardiac output was unchanged, and the ability to augment MSNA at high levels of LBNP was reduced (rate of rise for 30- to 60-mmHg LBNP before bed rest 0.073 bursts·min-1·mmHg-1; bed rest 0.035 bursts·min-1·mmHg-1; P < 0.016). These findings suggest that 24 h of bed rest reduces sympathetic nerve responses to LBNP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2210-H2215
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 51-6
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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