Influence of brief daily tendon vibration on rat soleus muscle in non-weight-bearing situation.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether tendon vibration could prevent soleus muscle atrophy during hindlimb unloading (HU). Mechanical vibrations with a constant low amplitude (0.3 mm) were applied (192 s/day) with constant frequency (120 Hz) to the Achilles tendon of the unloaded muscle during the 14-day HU period. Significant reductions in muscle mass (-41%), fiber size, maximal twitch (-54%), and tetanic tensions (-73%) as well as changes in fiber type and electrophoretic profiles and twitch-time parameters (-31% in the contraction time and -30% in the half relaxation time) were found after 14 days of HU when compared with the control soleus. Tendon vibration applied during HU significantly attenuated, but did not prevent, 1) the loss of muscle mass (17 vs. 41%); 2) the decrease in the fiber cross-sectional area of type IIA (-28 vs. -50%) and type IIC (-29 vs. -56%) fibers; and 3) the decrease in maximal twitch (-3 vs. -54%) and maximal tetanic tensions (-29 vs. -73%) and the half relaxation time (1 vs. -30%). Changes in the contraction time and in histological and electrophoretical parameters associated with HU were not counteracted. These findings suggest that tendon vibration can be used as a paradigm to counteract the atrophic process observed after HU. (+info)
Intracellular Ca2+ transients in mouse soleus muscle after hindlimb unloading and reloading.
The objective of this study was to determine whether altered intracellular Ca(2+) handling contributes to the specific force loss in the soleus muscle after unloading and/or subsequent reloading of mouse hindlimbs. Three groups of female ICR mice were studied: 1) unloaded mice (n = 11) that were hindlimb suspended for 14 days, 2) reloaded mice (n = 10) that were returned to their cages for 1 day after 14 days of hindlimb suspension, and 3) control mice (n = 10) that had normal cage activity. Maximum isometric tetanic force (P(o)) was determined in the soleus muscle from the left hindlimb, and resting free cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)), tetanic [Ca(2+)](i), and 4-chloro-m-cresol-induced [Ca(2+)](i) were measured in the contralateral soleus muscle by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Unloading and reloading increased resting [Ca(2+)](i) above control by 36% and 24%, respectively. Although unloading reduced P(o) and specific force by 58% and 24%, respectively, compared with control mice, there was no difference in tetanic [Ca(2+)](i). P(o), specific force, and tetanic [Ca(2+)](i) were reduced by 58%, 23%, and 23%, respectively, in the reloaded animals compared with control mice; however, tetanic [Ca(2+)](i) was not different between unloaded and reloaded mice. These data indicate that although hindlimb suspension results in disturbed intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis, changes in tetanic [Ca(2+)](i) do not contribute to force deficits. Compared with unloading, 24 h of physiological reloading in the mouse do not result in further changes in maximal strength or tetanic [Ca(2+)](i). (+info)
Surfactant effects in model airway closure experiments.
The capillary instability that occurs on an annular film lining a tube is studied as a model of airway closure. Small waves in the film can amplify and form a plug across the tube. This dynamical behavior is studied using theoretical models and bench-top experiments. Our model predicts the initial growth rate of the instability and its dependence on surfactant effects. In experiments, an annular film is formed by infusion of water into an initially oil-filled glass capillary tube. The thickness of the oil film varies with the infusion flow rate. The instability growth rate and closure time are measured for a range of film thicknesses. Our theory predicts that a thinner film and higher surfactant activity enhance stability; surfactant can decrease the growth rate to 25% of its surfactant-free value. In experiments, we find that surfactant can decrease the growth rate to 20% and increase the closure time by a factor of 3.8. Functional values of a critical film thickness for closure support the theory that it increases in the presence of surfactant. (+info)
Low-dose T(3) improves the bed rest model of simulated weightlessness in men and women.
This study tested the hypothesis that low-dose 3,5, 3'-triiodothyronine (T(3)) administration during prolonged bed rest improves the ground-based model of spaceflight. Nine men (36.4 +/- 1. 3 yr) and five women (34.2 +/- 2.1 yr) were studied. After a 5-day inpatient baseline period, subjects were placed at total bed rest with 6 degrees head-down tilt for 28 days followed by 5-day recovery. Fifty micrograms per day of T(3) (n = 8) or placebo (n = 6) were given during bed rest. Serum T(3) concentrations increased twofold, whereas thyroid-stimulating hormone was suppressed in treated subjects. T(3)-treated subjects showed significantly greater negative nitrogen balance and lost more weight (P = 0.02) and lean mass (P < 0.0001) than placebo subjects. Protein breakdown (whole body [(13)C]leucine kinetics) increased 31% in the T(3) group but only 8% in the placebo group. T(3)-treated women experienced greater changes in leucine turnover than men, despite equivalent weight loss. Insulin sensitivity fell by 50% during bed rest in all subjects (P = 0.005), but growth hormone release and insulin release were largely unaffected. In conclusion, addition of low-dose T(3) to the bed rest model of muscle unloading improves the ground-based simulation of spaceflight and unmasks several important gender differences. (+info)
Arterial pressure in humans during weightlessness induced by parabolic flights.
Results from our laboratory have indicated that, compared with those of the 1-G supine (Sup) position, left atrial diameter (LAD) and transmural central venous pressure increase in humans during weightlessness (0 G) induced by parabolic flights (R. Videbaek and P. Norsk. J. Appl. Physiol. 83: 1862-1866, 1997). Therefore, because cardiopulmonary low-pressure receptors are stimulated during 0 G, the hypothesis was tested that mean arterial pressure (MAP) in humans decreases during 0 G to values below those of the 1-G Sup condition. When the subjects were Sup, 0 G induced a decrease in MAP from 93 +/- 4 to 88 +/- 4 mmHg (P < 0.001), and LAD increased from 30 +/- 1 to 33 +/- 1 mm (P < 0.001). In the seated position, MAP also decreased from 93 +/- 6 to 87 +/- 5 mmHg (P < 0.01) and LAD increased from 28 +/- 1 to 32 +/- 1 mm (P < 0.001). During 1-G conditions with subjects in the horizontal left lateral position, LAD increased compared with that of Sup (P < 0.001) with no further effects of 0 G. In conclusion, MAP decreases during short-term weightlessness to below that of 1-G Sup simultaneously with an increase in LAD. Therefore, distension of the heart and associated central vessels during 0 G might induce the hypotensive effects through peripheral vasodilatation. Furthermore, the left lateral position in humans could constitute a simulation model of weightlessness. (+info)
Hindlimb unweighting decreases ecNOS gene expression and endothelium-dependent dilation in rat soleus feed arteries.
We tested the hypothesis that hindlimb unweighting (HLU) and the associated reduction in soleus muscle blood flow causes decreased expression of endothelial cell nitric oxide synthase (ecNOS) mRNA and protein and attenuated endothelium-dependent vasodilator responses in rat soleus feed arteries (SFA). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to HLU (n = 12) or cage control (Con; n = 12) conditions for 14 days. At the end of this period, SFA were isolated, removed, and cannulated with two glass micropipettes for examination of vasodilator responses or frozen for analysis of ecNOS mRNA and protein expression. RT-PCR of RNA from single SFA was used to measure ecNOS mRNA, and immunoblots on single SFAs were used to measure ecNOS protein content. Results revealed that both ecNOS mRNA and ecNOS protein expression were lower in SFA from HLU rats. Dilation to increased intraluminal flow was attenuated in SFA from HLU rats (Con: 88 +/- 8% vs. HLU: 53 +/- 8%) as was maximal vasodilation to acetylcholine (10(-9)-10(-4) M; Con: 88 +/- 5% vs. HLU: 73 +/- 5%). Sensitivity to the endothelium-independent vasodilator sodium nitroprusside (10(-10)-10(-4) M) was enhanced by HLU (EC(50): Con: 4.46 x 10(-7) M vs. HLU: 5.00 x 10(-8) M). Collectively, these data indicate that the chronic reduction in soleus blood flow associated with the reduced physical activity during HLU results in reduced expression of ecNOS mRNA and protein in SFA and attenuated endothelium-dependent vasodilation. (+info)
Increase in epinephrine-induced responsiveness during microgravity simulated by head-down bed rest in humans.
The epinephrine (Epi)-induced effects on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and metabolic functions were studied in men before and during a decrease in SNS activity achieved through simulated microgravity. Epi was infused at 3 graded rates (0.01, 0.02, and 0. 03 microg. kg(-1). min(-1) for 40 min each) before and on the fifth day of head-down bed rest (HDBR). The effects of Epi on the SNS (assessed by plasma norepinephrine levels and spectral analysis of systolic blood pressure and heart rate variability), on plasma levels of glycerol, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), glucose and insulin, and on energy expenditure were evaluated. HDBR decreased urinary norepinephrine excretion (28.1 +/- 4.2 vs. 51.5 +/- 9.1 microg/24 h) and spectral variability of systolic blood pressure in the midfrequency range (16.3 +/- 1.9 vs. 24.5 +/- 0.9 normalized units). Epi increased norepinephrine plasma levels (P < 0.01) and spectral variability of systolic blood pressure (P < 0.009) during, but not before, HDBR. No modification of Epi-induced changes in heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were observed during HDBR. Epi increased plasma glucose, insulin, and NEFA levels before and during HDBR. During HDBR, the Epi-induced increase in plasma glycerol and lactate levels was more pronounced than before HDBR (P < 0.005 and P < 0.001, respectively). Epi-induced energy expenditure was higher during HDBR (P < 0.02). Our data suggest that the increased effects of Epi during simulated microgravity could be related to both the increased SNS response to Epi infusion and/or to the beta-adrenergic receptor sensitization of end organs, particularly in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. (+info)
Vascular hyporesponsiveness in simulated microgravity: role of nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms.
Simulated microgravity depresses the ability of arteries to constrict to norepinephrine (NE). In the present study the role of nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms on the vascular hyporesponsiveness to NE was investigated in peripheral arteries of the rat after 20 days of hindlimb unweighting (HU). Blood vessels from control rats and rats subjected to HU (HU rats) were cut into 3-mm rings and mounted in tissue baths for the measurement of isometric contraction. Mechanical removal of the endothelium from carotid artery rings, but not from aorta or femoral artery rings, of HU rats restored the contractile response to NE toward control. A 10-fold increase in sensitivity to ACh was observed in phenylephrine-precontracted carotid artery rings from HU rats. In the presence of the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) substrate L-arginine, the inducible NOS inhibitor aminoguanidine (AG) restored the contractile responses to NE to control levels in the femoral, but not carotid, artery rings from HU rats. In vivo blood pressure measurements revealed that the peak blood pressure increase to NE was significantly greater in the control than in the HU rats, but that to AG was less than one-half in control compared with HU rats. These results indicate that the endothelial vasodilator mechanisms may be upregulated in the carotid artery, whereas the inducible NOS expression/activity may be increased in the femoral artery from HU rats. These HU-mediated changes could produce a sustained elevation of vascular nitric oxide levels that, in turn, could contribute to the vascular hyporesponsiveness to NE. (+info)