Functional changes in autonomic nervous system and baroreceptor reflex induced by 14 days of 6° head-down bed rest

Kaname Hirayanagi, Satoshi Iwase, Atsunori Kamiya, Tsuyoshi Sasaki, Tadaaki Mano, Kazuyoshi Yajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the effects of 14 days of 6° head-down bed rest (HDBR) in 16 healthy male subjects to examine the functional changes in the autonomic nervous system and cardiac baroreceptor reflex response with an emphasis on dynamic changes during HDBR. Beat-by-beat RR intervals (RRIs) and systolic arterial pressures (SAPs) were measured non-invasively from simultaneous, continuous recordings of ECG and arterial pressure waves in supine resting postures. A power spectrum analysis by the fast Fourier transform was applied to a data set composed of interpolated 512 RRIs and 512 SAPs (256 s in duration). Three indices of cardiac baroreceptor reflex sensitivity (BRS) were obtained by applying a sequence technique and a cross-spectrum analysis technique to the spontaneous RRIs and SAPs. The high-frequency band power of RRI variability (HFRRI) decreased significantly in the latter part of HDBR and persisted until the initial stage of the post-HDBR period (POST). The low-frequency band power of SAP variability decreased significantly only during the mid-part of HDBR. The BRSsequence obtained by the sequence technique showed a significant increase temporarily on the initial day of HDBR. The BRSsequence and the estimate of BRS obtained by the cross-spectrum analysis handling the high-frequency band were both significantly decreased on the initial day of POST. Each of the BRS estimates correlated negatively with heart rate and positively with HFRRI during HDBR and POST. These results suggest the following: (1) cardiac spontaneous baroreceptor reflex sensitivity might be transiently increased at the initial stage of HDBR, (2) the reduction in vagal modulation on the sinus node occurs from the latter part of HDBR to the initial stage of POST, (3) sympathetic vasomotor control is probably slightly inhibited during the mid-part of HDBR, and (4) the enhancement in cardiac sympathetic modulation and the impairment in cardiac spontaneous baroreceptor reflex sensitivity may occur in the initial stage of POST.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial pressure variability
  • Autonomic nervous function
  • Baroreceptor function
  • Head-down bed rest
  • Heart rate variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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