Exercise, arterial pressure control & systemic O2 tension 
: implications for post exercise hypotension in hypertension

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis presents four studies investigating the phenomenon of post exercise hypotension in the human condition of pre (borderline)-hypertension. Study one investigated the effects of an acute bout of 30-minutes upright cycling on post exercise haemodynamics and compared the results to a non-exercise control condition. 9 pre-hypertensive males, mean arterial pressure (MAP) = 106 ± 5 mmHg (50 ± 10 yr), not on medication, were studied for 6 hours following 30-minutes of cycle exercise at 70% maximal oxygen consumption and following 30-minutes of seated rest. Results demonstrate that moderate intensity exercise exerts a modest fall (~6 mmHg) in arterial pressure with the hypotension sustained for 6-hours post exercise. The fall in arterial pressure equates to a significantly reduced after load when compared to both pre-exercise baseline and non-exercise control data taken at the same time of day. The arterial pressure responses transcended into a sustained reduction ( 20%) in systemic vascular resistance and reciprocal increase in vascular conductance for up to 2-hours post-exercise. Venous atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) demonstrated an elevation (44%) following exercise and a significant decline (33%) in the post-exercise period mirroring the haemodynamic response. This research reveals that acute exercise is capable of sustained reductions in arterial pressure and vascular resistance beyond the usual labile fluctuations and that the octapeptide ANP may exert a modulatory influence over the post-exercise response.
    Increases in 02 tension beyond the physiological range induces complex effects on the circulatory system with a dominant vasoconstriction following hyperoxia. The purpose of study 2 was to assess the effects of hypoxic (16% 02) and hyperoxic (50% 62) exercise on subsequent haemodynamic control when compared with normoxia. 9 pre-hypertensive males, MAP = 106 ± 5 mmHg (50 ±10 yr), not on medication, performed 30-minutes of cycle exercise at 70% normoxic maximal oxygen consumption in hypoxia (16% O 2 ), hyperoxia (50% O 2) and normoxia(21% O2 ). Hyperoxic exercise blunted post-exercise haemodynamics by significantly attenuating the reductions (from normoxic baseline) in SVR (-45%, PO.05 vs. normoxic & hypoxic exercise immediately post-exercise) that persisted throughout 120-minutes recovery in normoxia (-35% vs. normoxic & hypoxic exercise, during recovery) and elicited a mildly hypertensive effect, with regards to MAP, whereas normoxic and hypoxic exercise elicited a hypotension compared to baseline (P<0.05). Circulating ANP was decreased in the hyperoxic trial when compared with normoxic and hypoxic exercise [24.3 (13.4) v. 31.5 (16.3) and 29.6 (13.9) pg/ml, respectively; P<0.05, pooled for state]. Changes in MAP were related to changes in ANP concentration only following hyperoxic exercise (r = 0.50, P<0.01). These findings indicate that acute modest hyperoxia reflexively induces measurable physiological derangement partly explained by decreased circulating concentrations of ANP.
    Study three determined the role of free-radical mediated oxidative stress and redox regulation of circulating NO metabolism as a primary modulator of vascular tone following exercise in pre-hypertensive humans. Utilising the same cohort and exercise protocol as in study 1 venous blood was sampled from an antecubital vein. Plasma NO metabolites nitrate (NO" 3 ) and nitrite (NO"2 ) were determined fluorometrically, whilst S-Nitrosothiol (RSNO) concentrations were assayed by the Saville reaction Indirect markers of oxidative stress were determined spectrophotometrically detecting lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH). Exercise led to a delayed increase in LOOH by 60- minutes post-exercise (0.69 ± 0.13 v. 0.86 ± 0.18 umol/1, respectively, P<0.05), that remained elevated until termination of the trial 6-hours post-exercise. NO'a significantly fell below baseline by 120-minutes post-exercise (10.8 ± 3.3 v. 1.1 ±1.1 u.mol/1, respectively, P<0.05), remaining attenuated for the remainder of the study.NO'i and RSNO were unmodified in the post-exercise period. In parallel to this finding the data also indicates a significant blunting in the hyperaemic response [SVR decreased from a 31% reduction immediately (within 1-minute) post-exercise to -13 and 8% at 60- and 120-minutes post-exercise, respectively, P<0.05] and reversal of the hypotension (P<0.05) over the same time frame as the augmented lipid peroxidation and attenuated circulating NO~3. These results indicate that augmented oxidative stress exerts a deleterious effect on post-exercise haemodynamics and implicates a potential redox regulation pathway of NO as being a mechanism by which free radical-induced oxidative stress blunts the degree of PEH in the recovery period.
    The final study investigated the potential role of a redox-mediated regulation of circulating NO bioavailability as a modulator of the augmented vasoconstriction following hyperoxic exercise. The same cohort and exercise protocol were employed as in study 2 and venous blood was assayed for NO"3 , NO'a, RSNO, LOOK, & lipid /water-soluble antioxidant concentrations. Similar adverse haemodynamic effects were noted following hyperoxic exercise as reported previously in study 2. RSNO showed a significant increase following hypoxic exercise only (P<Q.Q5, state x time, interaction), whereas NO~3, NO~2 and LOOH failed to differ between conditions (P>0.05, main effect for state [02] and state x time, interaction effects). Ascorbic acid was mobilised in response to hyperoxic exercise when compared to normoxia (P<0.05, main effect for state [O2] and state x time, interaction effects) being significantly elevated by 120-minutes post-exercise in hyperoxia compared to normoxia and hypoxia [75.1 (31) v. 39.5 (18.3) v. 46.7 (14.2) |amol/l, respectively, P<0.05]. This data demonstrates an effective endogenous antioxidant response and argues against a redox regulation pathway of NO metabolism as a primary mediator of blunted vasodilatation in this scenario. This elucidates a more complex regulation of arterial tone, resulting from a metabolic pathway independent of NO in older subjects with pre-hypertension.
    This work demonstrates that (1) aerobic exercise exerts a hypotensive effect in humans with pre-hypertension, (2) ANP plays a part in the vasodilatation following exercise, (3) Free-radical mediated oxidative stress & subsequent modulation of NO metabolism exerts a deleterious influence on post-exercise haemodynamics (4) Acute hyperoxic exercise induces a sustained vasoconstriction that is mediated via circulating ANP concentration but not by redox regulation of NO metabolism.
    Date of AwardJul 2008
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDamian Bailey (Supervisor)


    • post exercise hypotension
    • pre (borderline)-hypertension
    • arterial pressure
    • Heart Diseases
    • aerobic exercise

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