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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002 Nov;283(5):H2038-44.

Effects of graded LBNP on MSNA and interstitial norepinephrine.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


Exposure to lower body negative pressure (LBNP) leads to an increased activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and an increase in muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA). In this study, we examined the relationship between MSNA and interstitial norepinephrine (NE(i)) concentrations during LBNP. Twelve healthy volunteers were studied (26 +/- 6 yr). Simultaneous MSNA and microdialysis data were collected in six of these subjects. Measurements of MSNA (microneurography) and NE(i) (microdialysis, vastus lateralis) were performed at rest and then during an incremental LBNP paradigm (-10, -30, and -50 mmHg). MSNA rose as a function of LBNP (P < 0.001, n = 12). The plasma norepinephrine (NE(p)) concentration was 0.9 +/- 0.1 nmol/l at rest (n = 12). NE(i) measured in six subjects rose from 5.2 +/- 0.8 nmol/l at rest to 17.0 +/- 1.7 nmol/l at -50 mmHg (P < 0.001). Of note, the rise in NE(p) with LBNP was considerably less compared with the changes in NE(i) (Delta21 +/- 6% vs. Delta197 +/- 52%, n = 6, P < 0.015). MSNA and NE(i) showed a significant linear relationship (r = 0.721, P < 0.004). Activation of the SNS increased MSNA and NE(i) levels. The magnitude of the NE(i) increase was far greater than that seen for NE(p) suggesting that NE movement into the circulation decreases with baroreceptor unloading.

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