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- Open Access
Interplay between the innate immune response and heart rate variability in healthy human volunteers
© Kox et al. 2011
- Published: 1 March 2011
- Inflammatory Response
- Heart Rate Variability
- Inflammatory Cytokine
- Autonomic Nervous System
- Innate Immune Response
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) and innate immunity are intimately linked. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis is a widely employed method to assess cardiac ANS activity, and changes in HRV indices may correlate with inflammatory markers. Here, we investigated whether baseline HRV predicts the innate immune response. Second, we investigated whether the magnitude of the inflammatory response correlated with HRV alterations.
Forty healthy volunteers received a single intravenous bolus of 2 ng/kg endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide (LPS), derived from Escherichia coli O:113). Of these, 12 healthy volunteers were administered LPS again 2 weeks later. HRV was determined at baseline (just prior to LPS administration) and hourly thereafter until 8 hours post LPS. Plasma cytokine levels were determined at various time points.
HRV indices do not predict the innate immune response in a standardized model of systemic inflammation. The innate immune response results in HRV changes; however, no correlations with inflammatory cytokines were observed. These findings suggest that cardiac ANS activity may not reflect ANS outflow to other organs involved in the innate immune response. Furthermore, the magnitude of endotoxemia-related HRV changes does not reflect the extent of the inflammatory response.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.