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Sympathetic neural activity to the cardiovascular system: Integrator of systemic physiology and interindividual characteristics

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare N. Charkoudian
Gunnar B Wallin
Publicerad i Comprehensive Physiology
Volym 4
Nummer/häfte 2
Sidor 825-850
ISSN 2040-4603
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Institutionen för neurovetenskap och fysiologi, sektionen för klinisk neurovetenskap och rehabilitering
Sidor 825-850
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c130038
Ämnesord adrenergic system, animal, cardiovascular function, human, physiology, Animals, Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena, Humans, Sympathetic Nervous System
Ämneskategorier Klinisk medicin

Sammanfattning

The sympathetic nervous system is a ubiquitous, integrating controller of myriad physiological functions. In the present article, we review the physiology of sympathetic neural control of cardiovascular function with a focus on integrative mechanisms in humans. Direct measurement of sympathetic neural activity (SNA) in humans can be accomplished using microneurography, most commonly performed in the peroneal (fibular) nerve. In humans, muscle SNA (MSNA) is composed of vasoconstrictor fibers; its best-recognized characteristic is its participation in transient, moment-to-moment control of arterial blood pressure via the arterial baroreflex. This property of MSNA contributes to its typical "bursting" pattern which is strongly linked to the cardiac cycle. Recent evidence suggests that sympathetic neural mechanisms and the baroreflex have important roles in the long term control of blood pressure as well. One of the striking characteristics of MSNA is its large interindividual variability. However, in young, normotensive humans, higher MSNA is not linked to higher blood pressure due to balancing influences of other cardiovascular variables. In men, an inverse relationship between MSNA and cardiac output is a major factor in this balance, whereas in women, beta-adrenergic vasodilation offsets the vasoconstrictor/pressor effects of higher MSNA. As people get older (and in people with hypertension) higher MSNA is more likely to be linked to higher blood pressure. Skin SNA (SSNA) can also be measured in humans, although interpretation of SSNA signals is complicated by multiple types of neurons involved (vasoconstrictor, vasodilator, sudomotor and pilomotor). In addition to blood pressure regulation, the sympathetic nervous system contributes to cardiovascular regulation during numerous other reflexes, including those involved in exercise, thermoregulation, chemoreflex regulation, and responses to mental stress.

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