An update on the physiology of two- and three-toed sloths. (49/951)

Physiological and pharmacological research undertaken on sloths during the past 30 years is comprehensively reviewed. This includes the numerous studies carried out upon the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, anesthesia, blood chemistry, neuromuscular responses, the brain and spinal cord, vision, sleeping and waking, water balance and kidney function and reproduction. Similarities and differences between the physiology of sloths and that of other mammals are discussed in detail.  (+info)

Cutaneous blood flow during exercise is higher in endurance-trained humans. (50/951)

This study determined whether cutaneous blood flow during exercise is different in endurance-trained (Tr) compared with untrained (Untr) subjects. Ten Tr and ten Untr men (62.4 +/- 1.7 and 44.2 +/- 1.8 ml. kg(-1). min(-1), respectively; P < 0.05) underwent three 20-min cycling-exercise bouts at 50, 70, and 90% peak oxygen uptake in this order, with 30 min rest in between. The environmental conditions were neutral ( approximately 23-24 degrees C, 50% relative humidity, front and back fans at 2.5 m/s). Because of technical difficulties, only seven Tr and seven Untr subjects completed all forearm blood flow and laser-Doppler cutaneous blood flow (CBF) measurements. Albeit similar at rest, at the end of all three exercise bouts, forearm blood flow was approximately 40% higher in Tr compared with Untr subjects (50%: 4.64 +/- 0.50 vs. 3. 17 +/- 0.20, 70%: 6.17 +/- 0.61 vs. 4.41 +/- 0.37, 90%: 6.77 +/- 0. 62 vs. 5.01 +/- 0.37 ml. 100 ml(-1). min(-1), respectively; n = 7; all P < 0.05). CBF was also higher in Tr compared with Untr subjects at all relative intensities (n = 7; all P < 0.05). However, esophageal temperature was not different in Tr compared with Untr subjects at the end of any of the aforementioned exercise bouts (50%: 37.8 +/- 0.1 vs. 37.9 +/- 0.1 degrees C, 70%: 38.1 +/- 0.1 vs. 38.1 +/- 0.1 degrees C, and 90%: 38.8 +/- 0.1 vs. 38.6 +/- 0.1 degrees C, respectively). We conclude that a higher CBF may allow Tr subjects to achieve an esophageal temperature similar to that of Untr, despite their higher metabolic rates and thus higher heat production rates, during exercise at 50-90% peak oxygen uptake.  (+info)

Cerebral correlates of autonomic cardiovascular arousal: a functional neuroimaging investigation in humans. (51/951)

1. States of peripheral autonomic arousal accompany emotional behaviour, physical exercise and cognitive effort, and their central representation may influence decision making and the regulation of social and emotional behaviours. However, the cerebral functional neuroanatomy representing and mediating peripheral autonomic responses in humans is poorly understood. 2. Six healthy volunteer subjects underwent H215O positron emission tomography (PET) scanning while performing isometric exercise and mental arithmetic stressor tasks, and during corresponding control tasks. Mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) were monitored during scanning. 3. Data were analysed using statistical parametric mapping (SPM99). Conjunction analyses were used to determine significant changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during states of cardiovascular arousal common to both exercise and mental stressor tasks. 4. Exercise and mental stressor tasks, relative to their control tasks, were associated with significantly (P < 0.001) increased MAP and HR. Significant common activations (increased rCBF) were observed in cerebellar vermis, brainstem and right anterior cingulate. In both exercise and mental stress tasks, increased rCBF in cerebellar vermis, right anterior cingulate and right insula covaried with MAP; rCBF in pons, cerebellum and right insula covaried with HR. Cardiovascular arousal in both categorical and covariance analyses was associated with decreased rCBF in prefrontal and medial temporal regions. 5. Neural responses in discrete brain regions accompany peripheral cardiovascular arousal. We provide evidence for the involvement of areas previously implicated in cognitive and emotional behaviours in the representation of peripheral autonomic states, consistent with a functional organization that produces integrated cardiovascular response patterns in the service of volitional and emotional behaviours.  (+info)

Physiological responses of Brahman and Hereford steers to an acute ergotamine challenge. (52/951)

Research was conducted to evaluate the sensitivity of Bos indicus and Bos taurus cattle to a tall fescue ergopeptine alkaloid by assessing vital sign responses. Eight Polled Hereford and seven Red Brahman steers received bolus i.v. injections of ergotamine tartrate and saline vehicle in a simple cross-over design. Physiological traits measured 30 min and immediately before and 30, 60, and 90 min after treatment were respiration rate, rectal temperature, skin temperature at the tailhead and tail tip, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate. Blood samples were collected immediately before and 105 min after treatments to determine plasma prolactin and cortisol concentrations. Steers were fed a fescue-free diet in drylot. Ambient temperature and relative humidity averaged 31 degrees C and 55%, respectively, during data collection. No breed x treatment x time interactions were apparent for vital signs. The treatment x time interaction was significant (P < .05) for blood pressure and skin temperature. Ergotamine increased (P < .01) blood pressure and decreased (P < .01) skin temperature. The breed x treatment x time interactions were significant for prolactin (P < .1) and cortisol (P < .01). Ergotamine decreased plasma (P < .01) prolactin and increased (P < .01) cortisol concentrations in both breeds, despite some breed variation. Across all traits, Brahman and Hereford steers responded similarly to acute ergotamine exposure, indicating that the breeds are alike in acute sensitivity to a systemically administered ergopeptine alkaloid associated with fescue toxicosis.  (+info)

Balance control, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory fitness among older Tai Chi practitioners. (53/951)

BACKGROUND: Tai Chi Chuan (TTC) exercise has beneficial effects on the components of physical condition and can produce a substantial reduction in the risk of multiple falls. Previous studies have shown that short term TCC exercise did not improve the scores in the single leg stance test with eyes closed and the sit and reach test. There has apparently been no research into the effects of TCC on total body rotation flexibility and heart rate responses at rest and after a three minute step test. METHODS: In this cross sectional study, 28 male TCC practitioners with an average age of 67.5 years old and 13.2 years of TCC exercise experience were recruited to form the TCC group. Another 30 sedentary men aged 66.2 were selected to serve as the control group. Measurements included resting heart rate, left and right single leg stance with eyes closed, modified sit and reach test, total body rotation test (left and right), and a three minute step test. RESULTS: Compared with the sedentary group, the TCC group had significantly better scores in resting heart rate, three minute step test heart rate, modified sit and reach, total body rotation test on both right and left side (p < 0.01), and both right and left leg standing with eyes closed (p < 0.05). According to the American Fitness Standards, the TCC group attained the 90th percentile rank for sit and reach and total body rotation test, right and left. CONCLUSION: Long term regular TCC exercise has favourable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness in older adults.  (+info)

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in the cardiovascular system. (54/951)

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)s are a family of three nuclear hormone receptors, PPARalpha, -delta, and -gamma, which are members of the steriod receptor superfamily. The first member of the family (PPARalpha) was originally discovered as the mediator by which a number of xenobiotic drugs cause peroxisome proliferation in the liver. Defined functions for all these receptors, until recently, mainly concerned their ability to regulate energy balance, with PPARalpha being involved in beta-oxidation pathways, and PPARgamma in the differentiation of adipocytes. Little is known about the functions of PPARdelta, though it is the most ubiquitously expressed. Since their discovery, PPARs have been shown to be expressed in monocytes/macrophages, the heart, vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and in atherosclerotic lesions. Furthermore, PPARs can be activated by a vast number of compounds including synthetic drugs, of the clofibrate, and anti-diabetic thiazoldinedione classes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and a number of eicosanoids, including prostaglandins, lipoxygenase products, and oxidized low density lipoprotein. This review will aim to introduce the field of PPAR nuclear hormone receptors, and discuss the discovery and actions of PPARs in the cardiovascular system, as well as the source of potential ligands.  (+info)

Branchial receptors and cardiorespiratory reflexes in a neotropical fish, the tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum). (55/951)

This study examined the location and physiological roles of branchial chemoreceptors involved in the cardiorespiratory responses to hypoxia and hypercarbia in a neotropical fish that exhibits aquatic surface respiration, the tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum). Fish were exposed to abrupt progressive environmental hypoxia (18. 6-1.3 kPa water P(O2)) and hypercarbia (water equilibrated with 5 % CO(2) in air, which lowered the water pH from 7.0 to 5.0). They were also subjected to injections of NaCN into the ventral aorta (to stimulate receptors monitoring the blood) and buccal cavity (to stimulate receptors monitoring the respiratory water). All tests were performed before and after selective denervation of branchial branches of cranial nerves IX and X to the gill arches. The data suggest that the O(2) receptors eliciting reflex bradycardia and increases in breathing frequency are situated on all gill arches and sense changes in both the blood and respiratory water and that the O(2) receptors triggering the elevation in systemic vascular resistance, breathing amplitude, swelling of the inferior lip and that induce aquatic surface respiration during hypoxia are extrabranchial, although branchial receptors also contribute to the latter two responses. Hypercarbia also produced bradycardia and increases in breathing frequency, as well as hypertension, and, while the data suggest that there may be receptors uniquely sensitive to changes in CO(2)/pH involved in cardiorespiratory control, this is based on quantitative rather than qualitative differences in receptor responses. These data reveal yet another novel combination for the distribution of cardiorespiratory chemoreceptors in fish from which teleologically satisfying trends have yet to emerge.  (+info)

Effect of sleep restriction on orthostatic cardiovascular control in humans. (56/951)

We hypothesized that sleep restriction (4 consecutive nights, 4 h sleep/night) attenuates orthostatic tolerance. The effect of sleep restriction on cardiovascular responses to simulated orthostasis, arterial baroreflex gain, and heart rate variability was evaluated in 10 healthy volunteers. Arterial baroreflex gain was determined from heart rate responses to nitroprusside-phenylephrine injections, and orthostatic tolerance was tested via lower body negative pressure (LBNP). A Finapres device measured finger arterial pressure. No difference in baroreflex function, heart rate variability, or LBNP tolerance was observed with sleep restriction (P > 0.3). Systolic pressure was greater at -60 mmHg LBNP after sleep restriction than before sleep restriction (110 +/- 6 and 124 +/- 3 mmHg before and after sleep restriction, respectively, P = 0.038), whereas heart rate decreased (108 +/- 8 and 99 +/- 8 beats/min before and after sleep restriction, respectively, P = 0.028). These data demonstrate that sleep restriction produces subtle changes in cardiovascular responses to simulated orthostasis, but these changes do not compromise orthostatic tolerance.  (+info)