In this Physiology Shorts video, Tiago Peçanha talks about his group’s research investigating sympathetic and haemodynamic responses to exercise and muscle metaboreflex activation in post‐menopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis.
Find out more in the Journal of Physiology:
Increased sympathetic and haemodynamic responses to exercise and muscle metaboreflex activation in post‐menopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis
Tiago Peçanha Kamila Meireles Ana Jéssica Pinto Diego Augusto Nunes Rezende Amanda Yuri Iraha Bruna Caruso Mazzolani Fabiana Infante Smaira Allan Robson Kluser Sales Karina Bonfiglioli Ana Lúcia de Sá‐Pinto Fernanda Rodrigues Lima Maria Cláudia Irigoyen Bruno Gualano Hamilton Roschel
Rheumatoid arthritis patients present increased cardiovascular risk and exacerbated hemodynamic responses to exercise. Our group wants to further investigate the mechanisms behind the abnormal cardiovascular response to exercise in this population.
So, this study assessed sympathetic and hemodynamic responses to exercise and to the isolated activation of muscle metaboreflex in post-menopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis. To do this, we had rheumatoid arthritis and healthy women performing 3 minutes of isometric knee extension, which was followed by 2-minutes of post-exercise circulatory arrest to stimulate the muscle metaboreflex.
We measured muscle sympathetic nerve activity, mean arterial pressure, heart rate and heart rate variability.
We found that women with rheumatoid arthritis present a greater pressure and sympathetic response to exercise. More importantly, these exacerbated hemodynamic and sympathetic responses were sustained during the metaboreflex stimulation. Additionally, hemodynamic and autonomic responses to exercise were positively associated with multiple pro- and anti-inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 and TNFα, as well as with pain.
The results of this study support the hypothesis that an increased cardiovascular response to exercise in rheumatoid arthritis patients may be caused by an abnormal reflex control of circulation, and may also be associated with increased inflammation and pain in this inflammatory and painful condition. These findings may help to explain the increased cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis patients and in other rheumatic diseases.