Does long-term experimental antiorthostasis lead to cardiovascular deconditioning in the rat?

G. Raffai, C. Cseko, L. Kocsis, L. Dézsi, E. Monos

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Microgravity or simulated microgravity induces acute and chronic cardiovascular responses, whose mechanism is pivotal for understanding of physiological adaptation and pathophysiological consequences. We investigated hemodynamic responses of conscious Wistar rats to 45° head-down tilt (HDT) for 7 days. Arterial blood pressure (BP) was recorded by telemetry. Heart rate (HR), spectral properties and the spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (sBRS) were calculated. Head-up tilt (HUT) was applied for 2 h before and after HDT to assess the degree of any possible cardiovascular deconditioning. Horizontal control BP and HR were 112.5±2.8 mmHg and 344.7±10 bpm, respectively. HDT elicited an elevation in BP and HR by 8.3 % and 8.8 %, respectively, in less than 1 h. These elevations in BP and HR were maintained for 2 and 3 days, respectively, and then normalized. Heart rate variability was unchanged, while sBRS was permanently reduced from the beginning of HDT (1.01±0.08 vs. 0.74±0.05 ms/mmHg). HUT tests before and after HDT resulted in BP elevations (6.9 vs. 11.6 %) and sBRS reduction (0.44 vs. 0.37 ms/mmHg), respectively. The pressor response during the post-HDT HUT test was accompanied by tachycardia (13.7 %). In conclusion, chronic HDT does not lead to symptoms of cardiovascular deconditioning. However the depressed sBRS and tachycardic response seen during the post-HDT HUT test may indicate disturbances in cardiovascular control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiological Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 20 2009



  • Antiorthostasis
  • Baroreflex sensitivity
  • Cardiovascular deconditioning
  • Microgravity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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