The purpose of the present study was to clarify how the regional differentiation of sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) is modified during natural sleep in humans. In humans, muscle and skin sympathetic nerve activities (MSNA, SSNA) have been reported to discharge independently according to a regional differentiation of SNA during wakefulness. However, in natural sleep, MSNA and SSNA have been documented to synchronize during sleep stage 2 (Rechtschaffen and Kales). In the present study, we measured MSNA and SSNA simultaneously using a double recording technique of microneurography in eight healthy volunteers during natural sleep, and analyzed how MSNA and SSNA can be synchronized. We found that the synchronicity of MSNA and SSNA was accelerated in correlation with the deepening of the non-rapid eye movement (nonREM) sleep stages. We also documented that the burst properties of MSNA different from those of SSNA in wakefulness become similar to those of SSNA in the sleep stage, and MSNA synchronizes with SSNA. The synchronicity of MSNA and SSNA is presumably caused by a reduced effect of central inhibitory baroreflex pathways on MSNA during nonREM sleep. The present findings suggest that the regional differentiation of sympathetic nerve activity is attenuated with the deepening of nonREM sleep stages. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology