We tested the hypothesis that one bout of maximal exercise performed at the conclusion of prolonged simulated microgravity would improve blood pressure stability during an orthostatic challenge. Heart rate (HR), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (E), arginine vasopressin (AVP), plasma renin activity (PRA), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), cardiac output (Q), forearm vascular resistance (FVR), and changes in leg volume were measured during lower body negative pressure (LBNP) to presyncope in seven subjects immediately prior to reambulation from 16 days of 6 degrees head-down tilt (HDT) under two experimental conditions: 1) after maximal supine cycle ergometry performed 24 h before returning to the upright posture (exercise) and 2) without exercise (control). After HDT, the reduction of LBNP tolerance time from pre-HDT levels was greater (P = 0.041) in the control condition (-2.0 +/- 0.2 min) compared with the exercise condition (-0.4 +/- 0.2 min). At presyncope after HDT, FVR and NE were higher (P 〈 0.05) after exercise compared with control, whereas MAP, HR, E, AVP, PRA, ANP, and leg volume were similar in both conditions. Plasma volume (PV) and carotid-cardiac baroreflex sensitivity were reduced after control HDT, but were restored by the exercise treatment. Maintenance of orthostatic tolerance by application of acute intense exercise after 16 days of simulated microgravity was associated with greater circulating levels of NE, vasoconstriction, Q, baroreflex sensitivity, and PV.
The American journal of physiology (ISSN 0002-9513); Volume 271; 4 Pt 2; R837-47