To determine the effect of altitude acclimatization on plasma levels of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) during submaximal exercise and its relationship with renin and aldosterone, seven male volunteers aged 17-23 yr exercised to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer at 80-85% of their maximum O2 uptake at sea level (SL; 50 m), during 1 h in a hypobaric chamber [acute altitude (AA); 4,300 m], and after 14 or 16 days of residence on the summit of Pikes Peak, CO [chronic altitude (CA); 4,300 m]. Plasma samples taken before exercise, 10 min after the start of exercise, and 5 min postexercise were analyzed for ANP, plasma renin activity (PRA), and aldosterone (ALDO). ANP showed a progressive increase from rest to postexercise [7.49 ± 1.63 to 11.32 ± 1.80 (SE) pmol/ml and 6.05 ± 2.55 to 10.38 ± 7.20 pmol/ml; P = 0.049, exercise] at SL and AA, respectively, but not at CA (P = 0.039, altitude). Similarly, PRA and ALDO rose from rest to postexercise (P < 0.001, exercise), but the rise in ALDO with exercise was less during AA than during SL and CA (P = 0.002, phase). The decreased ANP levels during exercise after altitude acclimatization, with no change in PRA and ALDO, suggest that ANP has little effect on PRA and ALDO under these conditions.
- acute mountain sickness
- atrial natriuretic peptide