Does resistance exercise prevent body fluid changes after a 90-day bed rest?

Eric Belin de Chantemele, Stéphane Blanc, Natacha Pellet, Monique Duvareille, Guido Ferretti, Guillemette Gauquelin-Koch, Claude Gharib, Marc Antoine Custaud

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29 Scopus citations


Although various exercise regimens are commonly used as countermeasures to reduce the cardiovascular deconditioning induced by microgravity, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In this study we aimed to test whether lower limb resistance exercise with flywheel technology can prevent the fluid homeostasis alterations induced by 90-day head-down tilt bed-rest (HDT), and thus improve orthostatic tolerance. Total body water (TBW, measured by isotope dilution) and plasma volume (PV, calculated from the haemoglobin and the haematocrit) were measured in a control group (Co, n=9) and a countermeasure group (CM, n=9). Simultaneously, plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), renin (AR), and aldosterone (Aldo), as well as urinary anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), were measured. Orthostatic tolerance was evaluated with a 10 min + 80° tilt-test the first day of recovery. After HDT, both groups showed a comparable decrease in orthostatic tolerance [8.2 (0.9) min, Co; 8.0 (0.7) min, CM], PV [-4.7 (1.8)%, Co; -6.2 (2.5)%, CM, P < 0.05] and TBW [-6.3 (5.4)%, Co; -3.7 (2.1)%, CM, P < 0.05]. AR [97.4 (22.0)%, Co; 117.3 (26.4)%, CM] and Aldo [111.3 (58.4)%, Co; 100.6 (52.0)%, CM] increased significantly in both groups but the countermeasures produced no noticeable effects [data are expressed as mean (SE)]. The drop in ANP was also similar in both groups [-42.0 (15.2)%, Co; -51.1 (27.7)% for the CM]. Surprisingly, urinary ADH declined similarly in both groups during the basal data control period [-25.3 (5.2)%, Co; -26.1 (9.6)%, CM) and was sustained at this level during the 90-day HDT. These results show that, under the conditions described, the flywheel exercise device failed to improve characteristic manifestations of cardiovascular deconditioning and suggest that more frequent and powerful exercise, associated with another device (e.g. LBNP) might be a better countermeasure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-564
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • 90-day head-down tilt bed rest
  • Cardiovascular hormones
  • Flywheel exercise device
  • Plasma volume
  • Total body water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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