Patients with chronic renal failure suffer from exercise intolerance and poor physical capacity. Both patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) not yet on dialysis have significant impairments in measures of exercise capacity including peak work capacity (PWC) and peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak). The mechanisms underlying exercise intolerance in CKD are multifactorial and not fully understood, and the mechanistic roles of abnormal neurocirculatory and vascular responses during exercise have not been fully elucidated. Such abnormalities have been found to be an important pathogenic mechanism underlying the exercise dysfunction of other chronic conditions, yet remain largely unexplored in CKD. This translational research program will fill this gap by examining the role of abnormal neural and vascular responses in the pathogenesis of exercise dysfunction in CKD.
The normal physiologic responses to exercise include an increase in cardiac output and blood pressure (BP) that serves to meet the increased metabolic demands of skeletal muscle. The BP response is mediated by a balance between vasoconstrictive and vasodilatory forces induced during exercise. The major vasoconstrictive force is reflex activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which serves to help shunt blood to working skeletal muscle. Concomitantly, local vasodilation largely mediated by nitric oxide (NO) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) opposes sympathetic innervation within the exercising skeletal muscle in order to preserve blood flow and conductance to the metabolically active tissues, termed functional sympatholysis (FS). Conceivably, a derangement in the balance between vasoconstriction (by overactivation of neural SNS outflow) and vasodilation (by impaired FS) could result in an exaggerated BP response during exercise, and contribute to poor exercise tolerance.
Prior studies demonstrate that patients with both ESRD and CKD have an exaggerated increase in BP during isometric and rhythmic exercise. A heightened increase in BP during exercise could contribute to exercise impairment by increasing cardiac workload against an elevated peripheral resistance and impairing muscle blood flow during exercise. Moreover, exaggerated pressor responses during exercise have been shown to correlate with an increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease. Therefore, understanding the pathogenesis of this augmented BP response in CKD is crucial. This study will examine the potential mechanisms underlying the exaggerated BP response in CKD patients by evaluating the balance between vasoconstrictive and vasodilatory forces induced during exercise. The researchers hypothesize that CKD patients have an impairment in FS during exercise, an augmentation in vasoconstriction mediated by augmented sympathetic nerve activation in response to greater reductions in muscle interstitial pH, and greater vascular reactivity. The final goal is to determine if interventions that improve NO bioavailability (aerobic exercise training), and improve muscle interstitial pH (sodium bicarbonate supplementation), will ameliorate the exaggerated exercise pressor response, and improve FS and sympathetic nerve activation during exercise in CKD.
The first study aim is to determine the role of muscle interstitial acidosis on the augmented exercise pressor reflex in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients by enrolling 120 individuals with CKD and 36 controls participants without CKD. For the second aim of this study, the participants with CKD will enter a randomized, double-blinded, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial to determine if sodium bicarbonate enhances the beneficial effects of exercise training on physical functioning in CKD patients. CKD patients will be randomized to take sodium bicarbonate with exercise training or to take a placebo with exercise training for 12 weeks.
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. By listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details.