Research Topic

Time Domains of Hypoxia Adaptation: Evolutionary Insights and Applications

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Natural populations that have evolved to withstand the unavoidable physiological stresses imposed by environmental hypoxia have emerged as informative models for basic and clinical research. The time scales underlying long-term adaptations and acute plastic responses are uniquely informative for ...

Natural populations that have evolved to withstand the unavoidable physiological stresses imposed by environmental hypoxia have emerged as informative models for basic and clinical research. The time scales underlying long-term adaptations and acute plastic responses are uniquely informative for understanding mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance. Interestingly, the ability to safeguard biological systems appears to be, at least in part, similar among and within distinct species and populations. The nature of these convergent and parallel changes provides important perspectives regarding mechanisms that mitigate, and/or exacerbate, challenges imposed by hypoxia both in environmental and pathological settings.

Recent advances on system-wide physiological and -omic fronts have revealed important insight into the distinct time domains governing adaptive hypoxia responses. These domains span deep evolutionary changes, refined over millions of years or hundreds of generations, and shorter time frames defined by lifetime, acute, and/or intermittent challenges to oxygen homeostasis. One of the most celebrated examples of genetic and physiological multi-generational adaptation to reduced PO2 is evident among various species at high altitude, including humans. Present-day variations in vascular, cardiopulmonary, hematological, and metabolic hypoxia responses reflect coordinated changes that afford protection against this unavoidable stress in many, but not all, individuals in these populations. Additional insights have been recently gleaned from other natural models, including diving mammals with an extraordinary tolerance of both chronic and intermittent hypoxia. Such comparisons among evolutionary models, coupled with analyses in disadvantaged individuals, provide unparalleled insights into mechanisms for maintaining oxygen homeostasis and ensuring survival both in natural environments and disease states.

This Research Topic focuses on the use of these naturally hypoxia-adapted species (i.e., long-term evolutionary changes) as well as populations with plastic compensatory responses and/or a lack of adaptive capability to understand unique and shared responses to various states of chronic, intermittent, chronic intermittent hypoxia and reperfusion that are inherent to various disease states (e.g., cardiopulmonary disease, stroke, sleep apnea, cancer, and altitude illnesses). Combining information across various time domains of hypoxia adaptation is highly relevant for understanding evolutionary processes in the context of human health, disease, and personalized medicine.

We solicit submission of articles related to the following themes:
Evolution, comparative biology,
Population biology, ecology,
Anthropology,
Physiology, pathobiology,
Molecular and cellular biology,
Omics (e.g., epigenetics, metabolomics, gene regulation),
Genetic variation,
Personalized medicine, or
Environmental change;

That would fit into one or more of the following Sections:
Integrative Physiology,
Respiratory Physiology,
Embryonic and Developmental Physiology, and/or
Red Blood Cell Physiology,
Environmental, Aviation and Space Physiology.


Keywords: Evolution, Integrative, Physiology


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