Jun Toyohara, Akitaka Muta, Tetsuro Tago, Kei Wagatsuma, Muneyuki Sakata, Mikio Hiura, Kenji Ishibashi, Tadashi Nariai, Taketoshi Maehara, Kenji Ishii
Dynamic exercise elicits fluctuations in blood pressure (BP) and cerebral blood flow (CBF). This study investigated responses in BP and CBF during cycling exercise and post-exercise hypotension (PEH) using positron emission tomography (PET). CBF was measured using oxygen-15-labeled water (H215O) and PET in 11 human subjects at rest (Rest), at the onset of exercise (Ex1), later in the exercise (Ex2), and during PEH. Global CBF significantly increased by 13% at Ex1 compared with Rest, but was unchanged at Ex2 and during PEH. Compared with at Rest, regional CBF (rCBF) increased at Ex1 (20~42%) in the cerebellar vermis, sensorimotor cortex for the bilateral legs (M1Leg and S1Leg), insular cortex and brain stem, but increased at Ex2 (28~31%) only in the vermis and M1Leg and S1Leg. During PEH, rCBF decreased compared with Rest (8~13%) in the cerebellum, temporal gyrus, piriform lobe, thalamus and pons. The areas showing correlations between rCBF and mean BP during exercise and PEH were consistent with the central autonomic network, including the brain stem, cerebellum, and hypothalamus (R2=0.25-0.64). The present study suggests that higher brain regions are coordinated through reflex centers in the brain stem in order to regulate the cardiovascular response to exercise.