Unconditioned and conditioned effects of intravenous insulin and glucose on heart rate variability in healthy men

Autor(en): Stockhorst, Ursula 
Huenig, Anja
Ziegler, Dan
Scherbaum, Werner A.
Stichwörter: Behavioral Sciences; BLOOD; BRAIN; Central nervous system; Classical conditioning; Glucose; Heart rate variability; Humans; Psychology; Psychology, Biological; Vagal tone
Erscheinungsdatum: 2011
Volumen: 103
Ausgabe: 1, SI
Startseite: 31
Seitenende: 38
We examined whether an injection of intravenous insulin and intravenous glucose would affect frequency-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV), i.e., the high-frequency (HF-) band and the ratio of the low frequency (LF-) to the HF-band in healthy humans. Using a classical conditioning protocol, we also assessed whether the measures of HRV are subject to classical conditioning. Thirty healthy men were divided into three groups, given a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an intravenous injection of either insulin (0.05 IU/kg) in Group 1, glucose (15%, 0.5 g/kg) in Group 2, or placebo (physiological saline [0.9%]) in Group 3 during the 4-day acquisition phase. All subjects were given an olfactory CS (rosewood-peppermint smell) and placebo injection on day 5 (test). Due to their high inter-individual variability, HF and LF/HF-ratio were analysed by intragroup comparisons, using a pre-injection baseline interval (min -15 to -5), and three functional post-injection intervals: a) the interval to the maximum insulin level, i. e. insulin peak (min 0-5) in Groups 1 and 2, b) the interval to the maximum of insulin-induced hypoglycaemia (min 20-25) in Group 1, and c) the end of the session (min 70-75). On days 1 to 4, we found significant increases of the HF-band from baseline to interval min 0-5 in Group 1, and an even more pronounced increase in the glucose-treated Group 2. At the test (Day 5), both experimental groups responded with an HF-increase in the interval of the former insulin peak, and also at the other measurement intervals, reflecting some general increase of vagal activity remaining as a conditioned response. On days 1 to 4, the HF-band was positively correlated with the change of peripheral insulin levels in Group 1, reaching statistical significance on days 3 and 4. This pattern only emerged in tendency on Day 4 in Group 2. In conclusion, insulin triggers an increase in parasympathetic tone at maximum hyperinsulinaemia, and our data support the notion that this response pattern can become classically conditioned. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 00319384
DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.01.014

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