Effect of short-term exercise-heat acclimation on ventilatory and cerebral blood flow responses to passive heating at rest in humans

Naoto Fujii, Bun Tsuji, Yasushi Honda, Narihiko Kondo, Takeshi Nishiyasu
Journal of Applied Physiology 2015 September 1, 119 (5): 435-44
Hyperthermia induces hyperventilation and cerebral hypoperfusion in resting humans. We tested the hypothesis that short-term exercise-heat acclimation would alleviate those effects. Twenty healthy male subjects were divided into two groups that performed exercise training in the heat (TR-HEAT, n = 10) or cold (TR-COLD, n = 10). Before and after the training, the subjects in both groups participated in passive-heat tests at rest. Training was performed at 37°C (TR-HEAT) or 10°C (TR-COLD) and entailed four 20-min bouts of cycling at 50% peak oxygen uptake separated by 10-min recoveries daily for 6 consecutive days. After TR-HEAT, esophageal temperature was lowered when measured before and during passive heating, as was the esophageal temperature threshold for cutaneous active vasodilation, whereas plasma volume was increased (all P < 0.05). These traditional indices of successful heat acclimation were not all induced by TR-COLD (all P > 0.05). TR-HEAT had no significant effect on passive heating-induced increases in minute ventilation, even when evaluated as the esophageal temperature threshold for increases in minute ventilation and the slope relating minute ventilation to esophageal temperature (all P > 0.05). By contrast, TR-HEAT attenuated the passive heating-induced reduction in the cerebral vascular conductance index (middle cerebral artery mean blood velocity/mean arterial pressure) (all P < 0.05). TR-COLD did not attenuate the increase in minute ventilation or the decrease in the cerebral vascular conductance index observed during passive heating (all P > 0.05). These data suggest that in resting heated humans, short-term heat acclimation achieved through moderate-intensity exercise training (i.e., 50% peak oxygen uptake) in the heat does not influence hyperthermia-induced hyperventilation, but it does potentially attenuate cerebral hypoperfusion.

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