Ventilatory and cardiovascular responses of a python (Python molurus) to exercise and digestion. (73/951)

To investigate the potential limiting steps of peak metabolic rates, we examined gas exchange rates ( vdot (O2), vdot (CO2)), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), breathing frequency, tidal volume, minute ventilation volume (V.e) as well as the heart rate, systemic blood flow and stroke volume of Burmese pythons (Python molurus) while fasting at rest, exercising, digesting and exercising while digesting. All measured variables increased significantly during exercise (crawling at 0.4 km h(-)(1) and at vdot (O2max)), highlighted by a 17-fold increase in vdot (CO2) and a 24-fold increase in V.e. During the digestion of a meal equivalent to 25 % of the snake's body mass, pythons responded with increases in vdot (O2) and heart rate similar to those experienced during exercise, along with a 4.5-fold increase in systemic blood flow. Interestingly, pythons hyperventilated while exercising, whereas they hypoventilated during digestion. The combined demands of exercise and digestion resulted in significantly higher vdot (O2), vdot (CO2), breathing frequency and heart rate than during either exercise or digestion alone. Evidently, the capacities of the ventilatory and cardiovascular systems to transport oxygen to locomotor muscles are not a limiting factor in the attainment of peak metabolic rates during exercise in pythons  (+info)

tbx20, a new vertebrate T-box gene expressed in the cranial motor neurons and developing cardiovascular structures in zebrafish. (74/951)

The T-box genes constitute a family of transcriptional regulator genes that have been implicated in a variety of developmental processes ranging from the formation of germ layers to the regionalization of the central nervous system. In this report we describe the cloning and expression pattern of a new T-box gene from zebrafish, which we named tbx20. tbx20 is an ortholog of two other T-box genes isolated from animals of different phyla - H15 of Drosophila melanogaster and tbx-12 of Caenorhabditis elegans, suggesting that the evolutionary origin of this gene predates the divergence between the protostomes and deuterostomes. During development, tbx20 is expressed in embryonic structures of both mesodermal and ectodermal origins, including the heart, cranial motor neurons, and the roof of the dorsal aorta.  (+info)

Expression patterns of FHL/SLIM family members suggest important functional roles in skeletal muscle and cardiovascular system. (75/951)

LIM domain containing proteins play critical roles in animal development and cellular differentiation. Here, we describe the cloning and expression patterns of three members of the four and a half LIM domain-only protein family, FHL1, 2, and 3, from mouse. A comparison of embryonic expression patterns of these three highly-related genes indicates that they are expressed in an overlapping pattern in the developing cardiovascular system, and skeletal muscle. In adult tissues, the three genes are expressed in a predominant and overlapping manner in cardiac and skeletal muscle. Of the three genes, FHL2 appears to have the most restricted expression pattern during development, in heart, blood vessels, and skeletal muscle. Expression in heart is highest in cardiac septa and in the region adjacent to the atrio-ventricular ring, suggesting a potential role in septation or conduction system development. In the heart, FHL1expression was observed strongly in developing outflow tract, and to a lesser extent in myocardium. FHL3 displays low and ubiquitous expression during mouse development. Cardiac ventricular expression of FHL1, but not FHL2 or FHL3, was upregulated in two mouse models of cardiac hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy. Taken together, these data indicate the potential importance of this FHL family in the development and maintenance of the cardiovascular system and striated muscle, and suggest that FHL1 may play a role in the development of heart disease.  (+info)

Reflex responses from the main pulmonary artery and bifurcation in anaesthetised dogs. (76/951)

This study was undertaken to determine the reflex cardiovascular and respiratory responses to discrete stimulation of pulmonary arterial baroreceptors using a preparation in which secondary modulation of responses from other reflexes was prevented. Dogs were anaesthetised with -chloralose, artificially ventilated, the chests widely opened and a cardiopulmonary bypass established. The main pulmonary arterial trunk, bifurcation and extrapulmonary arteries as far as the first lobar arteries on each side were vascularly isolated and perfused through the left pulmonary artery and drained via the right artery through a Starling resistance which controlled pulmonary arterial pressure. Pressures distending systemic baroreceptors and reflexogenic regions in the heart were controlled. Reflex vascular responses were assessed from changes in perfusion pressures to a vascularly isolated hind limb and to the remainder of the subdiaphragmatic systemic circulation, both of which were perfused at constant flows. Respiratory responses were assessed from recordings of efferent phrenic nerve activity. Increases in pulmonary arterial pressure consistently evoked increases in both perfusion pressures and in phrenic nerve activity. Both vascular and respiratory responses were obtained when pulmonary arterial pressure was increased to above about 30 mmHg. Responses increased at higher levels of pulmonary arterial pressures. In 13 dogs increases in pulmonary arterial pressure to 45 mmHg increased systemic perfusion pressure by 24 +/- 7 mmHg (mean +/- S.E.M.) from 162 +/- 11 mmHg. Setting carotid sinus pressure at different levels did not influence the vascular response to changes in pulmonary arterial pressure. The presence of a negative intrathoracic pressure of -20 mmHg resulted in larger vascular responses being obtained at lower levels of pulmonary arterial pressure. This indicates that the reflex may be more effective in the intact closed-chest animal. These results demonstrate that stimulation of pulmonary arterial baroreceptors evokes a pressor reflex and augments respiratory drive. This reflex is likely to be elicited in circumstances where pulmonary arterial pressure increases and the negative excursions of intrathoracic pressure become greater. They are likely, therefore, to be involved in the cardio-respiratory response to exercise as well as in pathological states such as pulmonary hypertension or restrictive or obstructive lung disease.  (+info)

Differential cardiorespiratory control elicited by activation of ventral medullary sites in mice. (77/951)

We studied the respiratory and blood pressure responses to chemical stimulation of two regions of the ventral brainstem in mice: the rostral and caudal ventrolateral medulla (RVLM and CVLM, respectively). Stimulation of the RVLM by microinjections of the excitatory amino acid L-glutamate induced increases in diaphragm activity and breathing frequency, elevation of blood pressure (BP), and a slight increase in heart rate (HR). However, activation of the CVLM induced a decrease in breathing frequency, mainly due to prolongation of expiratory time (TE), and hypotension associated with a slight slowing of HR. Because adrenergic mechanisms are known to participate in the control of respiratory timing, we examined the role of alpha(2)-adrenergic receptors in the RVLM region in mediating these inhibitory effects. The findings demonstrated that blockade of the alpha(2)-adrenergic receptors within the RVLM by prior microinjection of SKF-86466 (an alpha(2)-adrenergic receptor blocker) significantly reduced changes in TE induced by CVLM stimulation but had little effect on BP responses. These results indicate that, in mice, activation of the RVLM increases respiratory drive associated with an elevation of BP, but stimulation of CVLM induces prolongation of TE via an alpha(2)-adrenergic signal transduction pathway.  (+info)

Natural history of severe decompression sickness after rapid ascent from air saturation in a porcine model. (78/951)

We developed a swine model to describe the untreated natural history of severe decompression sickness (DCS) after direct ascent from saturation conditions. In a recompression chamber, neutered male Yorkshire swine were pressurized to a predetermined depth from 50-150 feet of seawater [fsw; 2.52-5.55 atmospheres absolute (ATA)]. After 22 h, they returned to the surface (1 ATA) at 30 fsw/min (0.91 ATA/min) without decompression stops and were observed. Depth was the primary predictor of DCS incidence (R = 0.52, P < 0.0001) and death (R = 0.54, P < 0.0001). Severe DCS, defined as neurological or cardiopulmonary impairment, occurred in 78 of 128 animals, and 42 of 51 animals with cardiopulmonary DCS died within 1 h after surfacing. Within 24 h, 29 of 30 survivors with neurological DCS completely resolved their deficits without intervention. Pretrial Monte Carlo analysis decreased subject requirement without sacrificing power. This model provides a useful platform for investigating the pathophysiology of severe DCS and testing therapeutic interventions. The results raise important questions about present models of human responses to similar decompressive insults.  (+info)

Increased activity of nuclear factor-kappaB participates in cardiovascular remodeling induced by chronic inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis in rats. (79/951)

BACKGROUND: Chronic inhibition of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthesis by the administration of N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) to rats induces early vascular inflammatory changes [monocyte infiltration into coronary vessels, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression] as well as subsequent arteriosclerosis (medial thickening and perivascular fibrosis) and cardiac fibrosis. However, no direct evidence for the importance of NF-kappaB in this process is known. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined the effect of a cis element decoy strategy to address the functional importance of NF-kappaB in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular remodeling. We found here that in vivo transfection of cis element decoy oligodeoxynucleotides against NF-kappaB to hearts prevented the L-NAME-induced early inflammation and subsequent coronary vascular medial thickening. In contrast, NF-kappaB decoy oligodeoxynucleotide transfection did not decrease the development of fibrosis, the expression of transforming growth factor-beta(1) mRNA, or systolic pressure overload induced by L-NAME administration. CONCLUSIONS: The NF-kappaB system participates importantly in the development of early vascular inflammation and subsequent medial thickening but not in fibrogenesis in this model. The present study may provide a new aspect of how endothelium-derived NO contributes to anti-inflammatory and/or antiarteriosclerotic properties of the vascular endothelium in vivo.  (+info)

Cardiovascular responses to static exercise in patients with Brown-Sequard syndrome. (80/951)

1. The purpose of this study was to determine the contributions of central command and the exercise pressor reflex in regulating the cardiovascular response to static exercise in patients with Brown-Sequard syndrome. In this rare condition, a hemisection of the spinal cord typically leaves one side of the body with diminished sensation and normal motor function and the other side with diminished motor function and normal sensation. 2. Four, otherwise healthy, patients with Brown-Sequard syndrome and varying degrees of motor and sensory dysfunction were studied during four isometric knee extension protocols involving both voluntary contraction and electrically stimulated contractions of each leg. Heart rate, blood pressure, force production and ratings of perceived exertion were measured during all conditions. Measurements were also made during post-contraction thigh cuff occlusion and during a cold pressor test. 3. With the exception of electrical stimulation of the leg with a sensory deficit, protocols yielded increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Cuff occlusion sustained blood pressure above resting levels only when the leg had intact sensation. 4. While voluntary contraction (or attempted contraction) of the leg with a motor deficit produced the lowest force, it produced the highest ratings of perceived exertion coupled with the greatest elevations in heart rate and blood pressure. 5. These data show that the magnitude of the heart rate and blood pressure responses in these patients was greatly affected by an increased central command; however, there were marked cardiovascular responses due to activation of the exercise pressor reflex in the absence of central command.  (+info)