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Altitude sickness [keywords]
- Long-term results of enriched environment and erythropoietin after hypobaric hypoxia in rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiol Res 2013 Apr 16.
After global cerebral hypoxia, many patients are severely disabled even after intensive neurorehabilitation. Secondary mechanisms of brain injury as a result of biochemical and physiological events occur within a period of hours to months, and provide a window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention. Erythropoietin (EPO) has been shown to be neuroprotective in the brain subjected to a variety of injuries. Fifty-nine 3-month-old male Wistar rats were randomly distributed to experimental groups with respect to the housing (enriched environment - EE, standard housing - SH), to hypoxia exposure, and to EPO treatment. An acute mountain sickness model was used as a hypobaric hypoxia simulating an altitude of 8000 m. One half of the animals received erythropoietin injections, while the others were injected saline. Spatial memory was tested in a Morris water maze (MWM). The escape latency and the path length were measured. Better spatial learning in MWM was only seen in the group that received erythropoietin together with enriched environment. EPO administration itself had no influence on spatial memory. The results were very similar for both latencies and path lengths. These results support the idea that after brain injuries, the recovery can be potentiated by EPO administration combined with neurorehabilitation.
- [The denitrogenation by breathing oxygen-rich gas to prevent altitude decompression sickness]. [Journal Article]
- Zhongguo Ying Yong Sheng Li Xue Za Zhi 2012 Nov; 28(6):568-71.
While the technology of the molecular sieve oxygen generation system(MSOGS) onboard was used, pilots could not breathe pure oxygen to eliminate nitrogen during a high altitude flight. There is no report whether it is a threat to altitude decompression sickness(ADS) or not in that condition. This experiment was intended to observe the effects of breathing different oxygen-rich gases of MSOGS on denitrogenation, so that we could make the medical physiological requirements for MSOGS on-board and provide experimental basis for aeromedical supply.Eight healthy males were breathed oxygen-rich gases (60%,70%,80%,90%and 99.6%) in turn for 60 min, and the concentration of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and argon at the end of expiration interval in the oxygen mask were continuously measured by a flight mass spectrometer through the oxygen mask. According to the variety of the denitrogenation rate by breathing different oxygen-rich gases, its change law was analyzed.There were significant differences (P < 0.05) about denitrogenation rate in different oxygen-rich gases due to different oxygen concentration and breathing time. The denitrogenation rate of pure oxygen was higher than that of the others. It was indicated that the concentration of nitrogen in lung would decrease along with the increase in oxygen concentration of oxygen-rich gases, and the nitrogen concentration in the lung almost decreased by 50% or even more if people were breathed 60%-90% oxygen-rich gas longer than 60 s.The man-made respiration environment of low nitrogen can be provided by breathing oxygen-rich gases, although the denitrogenation velocity of breathing oxygen-rich gases is lower than that of breathing pure oxygen. So it can be used as a measure to eliminate and lower the nitrogen in the body to prevent from ADS.
- [High-altitude hypoxia induces disorders of the brain-endocrine-immune network through activation of corticotropin-releasing factor and its type-1 receptors]. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Zhongguo Ying Yong Sheng Li Xue Za Zhi 2012 Nov; 28(6):481-7.
High-altitude hypoxia can induce physiological dysfunction and mountain sickness, but the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and CRF type-i receptors (CRFR1) are members of the CRF family and the essential controllers of the physiological activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and modulators of endocrine and behavioral activity in response to various stressors. We have previously found that high-altitude hypoxia induces disorders of the brain-endocrine-immune network through activation of CRF and CRFR1 in the brain and periphery that include activation of the HPA axis in a time- and dose-dependent manner, impaired or improved learning and memory, and anxiety-like behavioral change. Meanwhile, hypoxia induces dysfunctions of the hypothalamo-pituitary-endocrine and immune systems, including suppression of growth and development, as well as inhibition of reproductive, metabolic and immune functions. In contrast, the small mammals that live on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau alpine meadow display low responsiveness to extreme high-altitude-hypoxia challenge, suggesting well-acclimatized genes and a physiological strategy that developed during evolution through interactions between the genes and environment. All the findings provide evidence for understanding the neuroendocrine mechanisms of hypoxia-induced physiological dysfunction. This review extends these findings.
- VEGFA SNPs and transcriptional factor binding sites associated with high altitude sickness in Han and Tibetan Chinese at the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. [Journal Article]
- J Physiol Sci 2013 May; 63(3):183-93.
Mountain sickness (MS) occurs among humans visiting or inhabiting high altitude environments. We conducted genetic analyses of seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter region of VEGFA gene for lowland (Han) and highland (Tibetan) Chinese. The seven SNPs were evaluated in Han and Tibetan patients with acute (A) and chronic (C) MS. We compared 64 patients with AMS with 64 Han unaffected with MS, as well as 48 CMS patients with 32 unaffected Tibetans. The SNPs studied are rs699947, rs34357231, rs79469752, rs13207351, rs28357093, rs1570360, and rs2010963 which are found in the promoter ranging from -2,578 to -634 bp from the transcriptional start site (TSS), respectively. Direct sequencing was used to identify individual genotypes for these SNPs. Arterial oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (SaO2) was found to be significantly associated with the rs699947, rs34357231, rs13207351, and rs1570360 SNPs in Han patients with AMS, while the rs2010963 SNP was found to approach significance in the AMS study group, but found to be significantly associated in the normal Tibetan study group. The Han and Tibetan control groups were found to diverge significantly for the rs28357093 and rs2010963 SNPs, as measured by genetic distances of 0.073 and 0.054, respectively. All the SNPs are found in transcriptional factor binding sites (TFBS), and their possible role in gene regulation was evaluated with regard to MS. MS was found to be significantly associated with these SNPs compared with their Han and Tibetan control groups, indicating that these nucleotide substitutions result in TFBS changes which apparently have a physiological effect on the development of high altitude sickness.
- Hypoxia, energy balance and obesity: from pathophysiological mechanisms to new treatment strategies. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Obes Rev 2013 Mar 28.
High altitude exposure is often accompanied by weight loss. Postulated mechanisms are a reduction of nutritional energy intake, a reduction of intestinal energy uptake from impaired intestinal function and increased energy expenditure. Beyond the field of altitude, there are good reasons for renewed interest in the relationship between hypoxia and energy balance. The increasing prevalence of obesity and associated comorbidities represent a major health concern. Obesity is frequently associated with sleep disorders leading to intermittent systemic hypoxia with deleterious cardiovascular and metabolic consequences. Hypoxic regions may be present within hypertrophic white adipose tissue leading to chronic systemic inflammation. Among the increasing number of people commuting to altitude for work or leisure, obesity is a risk factor for acute mountain sickness. Paradoxically, exposure to intermittent hypoxia might be considered as a means to lose body mass and to improve metabolic risk factors. Daytime exposure to intermittent hypoxia has been used to treat hypertension in former Soviet Union countries and is now being experimented elsewhere. Such intermittent hypoxic exposure at rest or during exercise may lead to improvement in body composition and health status with improved exercise tolerance, metabolism and systemic arterial pressure. Future research should confirm whether hypoxic training could be a new treatment strategy for weight loss and comorbidities in obese subjects and elucidate the underlying mechanisms and signalling pathways.
- Triggered by The Lancet: a decade later. [Letter]
- Lancet 2013 Mar 30; 381(9872):1098.
- Efficacy of residence at moderate versus low altitude on reducing acute mountain sickness in men following rapid ascent to 4300 m. [Journal Article]
- High Alt Med Biol 2013 Mar; 14(1):13-8.
To determine if residence at moderate (~2000 m) compared to low (<50 m) altitude reduces acute mountain sickness (AMS) in men during subsequent rapid ascent to a higher altitude. Nine moderate-altitude residents (MAR) and 18 sea-level residents (SLR) completed the Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire (ESQ) at their respective baseline residence and again at 12, 24, 48, and 72 h at 4300 m to assess the severity and prevalence of AMS. AMS cerebral factor score (AMS-C) was calculated from the ESQ at each time point. AMS was judged to be present if AMS-C was ≥0.7. Resting end-tidal CO2 (PETco2) and arterial oxygen saturation (Sao2) were assessed prior to and at 24, 48, and 72 h at 4300 m. Resting venous blood samples were collected prior to and at 72 h at 4300 m to estimate plasma volume (PV) changes. MAR compared to SLR: 1) AMS severity at 4300 was lower (p<0.05) at 12 h (0.50±0.69 vs. 1.48±1.28), 24 h (0.15±0.19 vs. 1.39±1.19), 48 h (0.10±0.18 vs. 1.37±1.49) and 72 h (0.08±0.12 vs. 0.69±0.70); 2) AMS prevalence at 4300 was lower (p<0.05) at 12 h (22% vs. 72%), 24 h (0% vs. 56%), 48 h (0% vs. 56%), and 72 h (0% vs. 45%); 3) resting Sao2 (%) was lower (p<0.05) at baseline (95±1 vs. 99±1) but higher (p<0.05) at 4300 at 24 h (86±2 vs. 81±5), 48 h (88±3 vs. 83±6), and 72 h (88±2 vs. 83±5); and 4) PV (%) did not differ at 72 h at 4300 m in the MAR (4.5±6.7) but was reduced for the SLR (-8.1±10.4). These results suggest that ventilatory and hematological acclimatization acquired while living at moderate altitude, as indicated by a higher resting Sao2 and no reduction in PV during exposure to a higher altitude, is associated with greatly reduced AMS after rapid ascent to high altitude.
- Short-term responses of the kidney to high altitude in mountain climbers. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Nephrol Dial Transplant 2013 Mar 22.
In high-altitude climbers, the kidneys play a crucial role in acclimatization and in mountain sickness syndromes [acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude cerebral edema, high-altitude pulmonary edema] through their roles in regulating body fluids, electrolyte and acid-base homeostasis. Here, we discuss renal responses to several high-altitude-related stresses, including changes in systemic volume status, renal plasma flow and clearance, and altered acid-base and electrolyte status. Volume regulation is considered central both to high-altitude adaptation and to maladaptive development of mountain sickness. The rapid and powerful diuretic response to the hypobaric hypoxic stimulus of altitude integrates decreased circulating concentrations of antidiuretic hormone, renin and aldosterone, increased levels of natriuretic hormones, plasma and urinary epinephrine, norepinephrine, endothelin and urinary adrenomedullin, with increased insensible fluid losses and reduced fluid intake. The ventilatory and hormonal responses to hypoxia may predict susceptibility to AMS, also likely influenced by multiple genetic factors. The timing of altitude increases and adaptation also modifies the body's physiologic responses to altitude. While hypovolemia develops as part of the diuretic response to altitude, coincident vascular leak and extravascular fluid accumulation lead to syndromes of high-altitude sickness. Pharmacological interventions, such as diuretics, calcium blockers, steroids, phosphodiesterase inhibitors and β-agonists, may potentially be helpful in preventing or attenuating these syndromes.
- Protective mechanisms in hypobaric decompression. [Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.]
- Aviat Space Environ Med 2013 Mar; 84(3):212-25.
To reduce bubble formation and growth during hypobaric exposures, a denitrogenation or nitrogen "washout" procedure is performed. This procedure consists of prebreathing oxygen fractions as close to one as possible (oxygen prebreathe) prior to depressurization before ascending to the working altitude or low spacesuit pressures. During the NASA prebreathe reduction program (PRP), it was determined that the addition of a light arm exercise to short, individually designed, performance-based heavy exercise (dual cycle ergometry) during an abbreviated 2-h prebreathe (F1O2 - 1.0) reduced the occurrence of decompression sickness (DCS). Heavy-exercise-induced DCS reduction is likely to be related to the enhancement of the tissue nitrogen washout during the oxygen prebreathe. In addition to the heavy-exercise-induced microcirculatory adaptation, we hypothesized that the light exercise would not cause sufficient microcirculatory changes in the limbs to explain alone this further DCS protection. We evaluated microcirculatory changes as minimal by replicating the exercise characteristics of the PRP trials in 13 healthy subjects.Noninvasive near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) allowed observation of instantaneous variations of total, oxygenated, and deoxygenated hemoglobin/myoglobin concentrations in the microcirculatory networks (probes facing the vastus lateralis and deltoid muscles) of active limbs during dynamic exercise.The high-intensity leg exercise alone produced the changes in NIRS parameters; the light arm exercise induced minimal microcirculatory volume changes. However, this coupling appeared to be critical in previous altitude PRP chamber studies by reducing DCS.With only minimal microcirculatory blood volume changes, it is unlikely that light exercise alone causes significant nitrogen tissue washout. Therefore, our results suggest that in addition to nitrogen tissue washout, another unknown exercise-induced effect may have further enhanced the DCS protection, possibly mediated via the anti-inflammatory effect of exercise, gas micronuclei reduction, NO pathways, or other molecular mechanisms.
- The antioxidative effect of a novel free radical scavenger 4'-hydroxyl-2-substituted phenylnitronyl nitroxide in acute high-altitude hypoxia mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Biol Pharm Bull 2013 Mar 12.
Acute mountain sickness is caused by sub-acute hypoxia in healthy individuals going rapidly to altitude. Both tissue hypoxia in vitro and whole-body hypoxia in vivo have been found to promote the release of reactive oxygen species. Nitronyl nitroxide can trap free radicals such as ·NO or ·OH, and may therefore be efficient protective agents. This study assessed the ability of nitronyl nitroxide to against acute mountain sickness as a free radical scavenger in acute high-altitude hypoxia mice model. Normobaric hypoxia and hypobaric hypoxia model were used to estimate the protect effects of nitronyl nitroxide against acute mountain sickness. Low pressure oxygen compartment system was used to stimulate high-altitude hypobaric hypoxia environment. Mice in nitronyl nitroxide groups survived longer than acetazolamide group in normobaric hypoxia test. H2O2 and MDA increased in both cerebrum and myocardium in vehicle group. The results indicated more radicals were generated during high-altitude hypobaric hypoxia environment. In therapeutic groups H2O2 and MDA were significantly reduced while the activities of SOD, GSH-Px and CAT were similar to normal group. These results demonstrated that nitronyl nitroxide was an efficient tissue radical scavenger and a potential protective agent for acute mountain sickness.