Post exercise hypotension is not mediated by the serotonergic system in borderline hypertensive individuals
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Recent evidence from our laboratory and others have suggested that the mechanism for a decrease in resting blood pressure after an acute bout of exercise is a centrally mediated decrease in total peripheral resistance. This study examined the effect of the central serotonergic system on post exercise hypotension (PEH) in 11 borderline hypertensive individuals (nine male, two female) aged 24.5 +/- 5.1 years. Each subject completed two, 30-min cycling bouts at 70% of VO2peak while under placebo or a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment. Blood pressure was recorded directly from the radial artery, and treatments were randomised, double blinded and separated by at least 14 days. Baseline blood pressure was 145/72 mm Hg for systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) respectively. Peripheral measures of serotonin (5-HT) were lower under SSRI treatment, whereas the major 5-HT metabolite, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, was not significantly changed, indicating elevated central 5-HT levels. There was no difference in any of the haemodynamic variables between trials. Despite an increased heart rate for the initial 75 min post exercise, SBP was decreased as much as 23 mm Hg during the initial 60 min post exercise, after which it had returned to normal. DBP was unchanged after exercise. Circulating adrenaline (0.60 +/- 0.14 ng/mL to 1.3 +/- 1.6 ng/ml) and noradrenaline (0.27 +/- 0.31 ng/ml to 4.5 +/- 2.1 ng/ml) were significantly elevated during exercise. Both returned to pre-exercise levels within 15 min post exercise. Unexpectedly, oxygen uptake was slightly (5%), but significantly increased over the entire duration of the SSRI trial. We conclude that the central serotonergic system is not responsible for PEH in our borderline hypertensive population.
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