High Twin Resemblance for Sensitivity to Hypoxia

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Purpose

Physiological responses to hypoxia vary between individuals, and genetic factors are conceivably involved. Using a monozygotic twin design, we investigated the role of genetic factors in physiological responses to acute hypoxia.

Methods

Thirteen pairs of monozygotic twin brothers participated in two experimental sessions in a normobaric hypoxic facility with a 2-wk interval. In one session, fraction of inspired O2 (FiO2) was gradually reduced to 10.7% (approximately 5300 m altitude) over 5 h. During the next 3 h at 10.7%, FiO2 subjects performed a 20-min submaximal exercise bout (EXSUB, 1.2 W·kg−1) and a maximal incremental exercise test (EXMAX). An identical control experiment was done in normoxia. Cardiorespiratory measurements were continuously performed, and 8-h urine output was collected.

Results

Compared with normoxia, hypoxia decreased (P < 0.05) arterial O2 saturation (%SpO2) at rest (−22%) and during exercise (−28%). Furthermore, V˙O2max (−39%), HRmax (HR, −8%), maximal pulmonary ventilation (V˙Emax, −11%), and urinary norepinephrine excretion (−31%) were reduced (P < 0.05) whereas HR at rest (25%) and during EXSUB (16%) and V˙E at rest (38%) and during EXSUB (70%) were increased (P < 0.05). However, hypoxia-induced changes (Δ) were not randomly distributed between subjects. Between-pair variance was substantially larger than within-pair variance (P < 0.05) for Δ%SpO2 at rest (approximately threefold) and during exercise (approximately fourfold), ΔV˙O2max (approximately fourfold), ΔHR during exercise (approximately seven- to eightfold), hypoxic ventilatory response (approximately sixfold), and Δ urinary norepinephrine output (approximately threefold). Incidence of acute mountain sickness (AMS) also yielded significant twin similarity (P < 0.05). AMS+ subjects showed approximately 50% greater drop in urinary norepinephrine and lower hypoxic ventilator response than AMS− individuals.

Conclusions

Our data suggest that genetic factors regulate cardiorespiratory responses, exercise tolerance, and pathogenesis of AMS symptoms in acute severe hypoxia. Hypoxia-induced sympathetic downregulation was associated with AMS.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles