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Cerebral blood flow links insulin resistance and baroreflex sensitivity

Ryan, JP and Sheu, LK and Verstynen, TD and Onyewuenyi, IC and Gianaros, PJ (2013) Cerebral blood flow links insulin resistance and baroreflex sensitivity. PLoS ONE, 8 (12).

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Insulin resistance confers risk for diabetes mellitus and associates with a reduced capacity of the arterial baroreflex to regulate blood pressure. Importantly, several brain regions that comprise the central autonomic network, which controls the baroreflex, are also sensitive to the neuromodulatory effects of insulin. However, it is unknown whether peripheral insulin resistance relates to activity within central autonomic network regions, which may in turn relate to reduced baroreflex regulation. Accordingly, we tested whether resting cerebral blood flow within central autonomic regions statistically mediated the relationship between insulin resistance and an indirect indicator of baroreflex regulation; namely, baroreflex sensitivity. Subjects were 92 community-dwelling adults free of confounding medical illnesses (48 men, 30-50 years old) who completed protocols to assess fasting insulin and glucose levels, resting baroreflex sensitivity, and resting cerebral blood flow. Baroreflex sensitivity was quantified by measuring the magnitude of spontaneous and sequential associations between beat-by-beat systolic blood pressure and heart rate changes. Individuals with greater insulin resistance, as measured by the homeostatic model assessment, exhibited reduced baroreflex sensitivity (b = -0.16, p < .05). Moreover, the relationship between insulin resistance and baroreflex sensitivity was statistically mediated by cerebral blood flow in central autonomic regions, including the insula and cingulate cortex (mediation coefficients < -0.06, p-values < .01). Activity within the central autonomic network may link insulin resistance to reduced baroreflex sensitivity. Our observations may help to characterize the neural pathways by which insulin resistance, and possibly diabetes mellitus, relates to adverse cardiovascular outcomes. © 2013 Ryan et al.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ryan, JPjpr28@pitt.eduJPR28
Sheu, LKsheulk@pitt.eduSHEULK
Verstynen, TDtimothyv@pitt.eduTIMOTHYV
Onyewuenyi, IC
Gianaros, PJgianaros@pitt.eduGIANAROS0000-0003-2313-5277
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Date: 16 December 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Volume: 8
Number: 12
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083288
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
School of Medicine > Psychiatry
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2014 18:23
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 22:55


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