Losartan reduces the immediate and sustained increases in muscle sympathetic nerve activity after hyperacute intermittent hypoxia

Noah P. Jouett, Gilbert Moralez, Peter B. Raven, Michael L. Smith

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by intermittent hypoxemia, which produces elevations in sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) and associated hypertension in experimental models that persist beyond the initial exposure. We tested the hypotheses that angiotensin receptor blockade in humans using losartan attenuates the immediate and immediately persistent increases in 1) SNA discharge and 2) mean arterial pressure (MAP) after hyperacute intermittent hypoxia training (IHT) using a randomized, placebo-controlled, repeated-measures experimental design. We measured ECG and photoplethysmographic arterial pressure in nine healthy human subjects, while muscle SNA (MSNA) was recorded in seven subjects using microneurography. Subjects were exposed to a series of hypoxic apneas in which they inhaled two to three breaths of nitrogen, followed by a 20-s apnea and 40 s of room air breathing every minute for 20 min. Hyperacute IHT produced substantial and persistent elevations in MSNA burst frequency (baseline: 15.3 ± 1.8, IHT: 24 ± 1.5, post-IHT 20.0 ± 1.3 bursts/min, all P < 0.01) and MAP (baseline: 89.2 ± 3.3, IHT: 92.62 ± 3.1, post-IHT: 93.83 ± 3.1 mmHg, all P < 0.02). Losartan attenuated the immediate and sustained increases in MSNA (baseline: 17.3 ± 2.5, IHT: 18.6 ± 2.2, post-IHT 20.0 ±1.3 bursts/min, all P < 0.001) and MAP (baseline: 81.9 ± 2.6, IHT: 81.1 ± 2.8, post-IHT: 81.3 ± 3.0 mmHg, all P > 0.70). This investigation confirms the role of angiotensin II type 1a receptors in the immediate and persistent sympathoexcitatory and pressor responses to IHT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-892
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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