Confinement and inactivity induce considerable psychological and physiological modifications through social and sensory deprivation. The aim of the SFINCSS-99 experiment was to determine the cardiovascular and hormonal pattern of blood volume regulation during long-term isolation and confinement. Simulation experiments were performed in pressurized chambers similar in size to the volumes of modern space vehicles. Group I consisted of four Russian male volunteers, who spent 240 days in a 100-m3 chamber. Group II included four males (one German and three Russians) who spent 110 days in isolation (200-m3 module). The blood samples, taken before, during and after the isolation period, were used to determine haematocrit (Ht), growth hormone (GH), active renin, aldosterone, and osmolality levels. From the urine samples, electrolytes, osmolality, nitrites, nitrates, cortisol, antidiuretic hormone (ADH), aldosterone, normetanephrine and metanephrine levels were determined. The increase in plasma volume (PV) that is associated with a tendency for a decrease in plasma active renin is likely to be due to decreased sympathetic activity, and concords with the changes in urinary catecholamine levels during confinement. Urinary catecholamine levels were significantly higher during the recovery period than during confinement. This suggests that the sympathoadrenal system was activated, and concords with the increase in heart rate. Vascular resistance is determined by not only the vasoconstrictor but also vasodilator systems. The ratio of nitrite/nitrate in urine, as an indicator of nitric oxide release, did not reveal any significant changes. Analysis of data suggests that the duration of the isolation was a main factor involved in the regulation of hormones.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)