Document Detail

Evidence for a respiratory component, similar to mammalian respiratory sinus arrhythmia, in the heart rate variability signal from the rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus terrificus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16809454     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Autonomic control of heart rate variability and the central location of vagal preganglionic neurones (VPN) were examined in the rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus terrificus), in order to determine whether respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) occurred in a similar manner to that described for mammals. Resting ECG signals were recorded in undisturbed snakes using miniature datalogging devices, and the presence of oscillations in heart rate (fh) was assessed by power spectral analysis (PSA). This mathematical technique provides a graphical output that enables the estimation of cardiac autonomic control by measuring periodic changes in the heart beat interval. At fh above 19 min(-1) spectra were mainly characterised by low frequency components, reflecting mainly adrenergic tonus on the heart. By contrast, at fh below 19 min(-1) spectra typically contained high frequency components, demonstrated to be cholinergic in origin. Snakes with a fh >19 min(-1) may therefore have insufficient cholinergic tonus and/or too high an adrenergic tonus acting upon the heart for respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) to develop. A parallel study monitored fh simultaneously with the intraperitoneal pressures associated with lung inflation. Snakes with a fh<19 min(-1) exhibited a high frequency (HF) peak in the power spectrum, which correlated with ventilation rate (fv). Adrenergic blockade by propranolol infusion increased the variability of the ventilation cycle, and the oscillatory component of the fh spectrum broadened accordingly. Infusion of atropine to effect cholinergic blockade abolished this HF component, confirming a role for vagal control of the heart in matching fh and fv in the rattlesnake. A neuroanatomical study of the brainstem revealed two locations for vagal preganglionic neurones (VPN). This is consistent with the suggestion that generation of ventilatory components in the heart rate variability (HRV) signal are dependent on spatially distinct loci for cardiac VPN. Therefore, this study has demonstrated the presence of RSA in the HRV signal and a dual location for VPN in the rattlesnake. We suggest there to be a causal relationship between these two observations.
Hamish A Campbell; Cleo A C Leite; Tobias Wang; Marianne Skals; Augusto S Abe; Stuart Egginton; F Tadeu Rantin; Charles M Bishop; Edwin W Taylor
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  209     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2006 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-06-30     Completed Date:  2006-09-13     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2628-36     Citation Subset:  IM    
UNESP, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil.
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MeSH Terms
Autonomic Fibers, Preganglionic / physiology
Brain Stem / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Crotalus / physiology*
Heart Rate / physiology*
Vagus Nerve / anatomy & histology,  physiology

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