Developmental Functional Adaptation to High Altitude: Review

  title={Developmental Functional Adaptation to High Altitude: Review},
  author={Andres Roberto Frisancho},
  journal={American Journal of Human Biology},
  • A. R. Frisancho
  • Published 1 March 2013
  • Biology
  • American Journal of Human Biology
Various approaches have been used to understand the origins of the functional traits that characterize the Andean high‐altitude native. Based on the conceptual framework of developmental functional adaptation which postulates that environmental influences during the period of growth and development have long lasting effects that may be expressed during adulthood, we initiated a series of studies addressed at determining the pattern of physical growth and the contribution of growth and… 

Case Study: Developmental Physiology at High Altitude

Developmental hypoxia determines the ability of adult mammals to withstand life at high altitude, and the available data indicate that this might be an important driving force in short-term acclimatization and long-term adaptation to high altitude.

Genetic and phenotypic differentiation of an Andean intermediate altitude population

Overall, this study shows that some phenotypic and genetic differentiation occurs at intermediate altitude in response to moderate lifelong selection pressures.

Human Adaptation to Life at High Altitude

Data related to birth weight, gestational age, preeclampsia, hemoglobin and chronic mountain sickness in populations at HA are reviewed and how gene evolution drives adaptation is reviewed.

Persistent structural adaptation in the lungs of guinea pigs raised at high altitude

The Effects of High Altitude on Glucose Homeostasis, Metabolic Control, and Other Diabetes-Related Parameters: From Animal Studies to Real Life.

The aim of this review is to present available evidence in the field in a comprehensive way, beginning from the physiology of glucose homeostasis adaptation mechanisms to high altitudes and ending to what real life experience has taught us.

Glucose homeostasis during short-term and prolonged exposure to high altitudes.

The most current evidence about glucose homeostasis in residents living above 1500 m is presented and possible mechanisms that could explain the lower fasting glycemia and lower prevalence of obesity and diabetes in this population are discussed.

Physical Growth, Biological Age, and Nutritional Transitions of Adolescents Living at Moderate Altitudes in Peru

Adolescents living at a moderate altitude in Peru exhibited stunted linear growth and biological maturation and showed the presence of the double nutritional burden (stunted growth and excessive weight).

Evidence for and Against Genetic Predispositions to Acute and Chronic Altitude Illnesses.

In the past 5 years, the use of genomic techniques has helped bolster the claim that susceptibility to some altitude illnesses is likely the result of genetic variation.



Developmental responses to high altitude hypoxia.

There is not adequate information to determine whether or not the developmental responses of the high altitude native are population-specific, based on a genetic structure different from that of sea level populations, and the need for further study of developmental factors is emphasized.

Developmental, genetic, and environmental components of aerobic capacity at high altitude.

The attainment of normal aerobic capacity at high altitude is related to both developmental acclimatization and genetic factors but its expression is highly mediated by environmental factors, such as occupational activity level and body composition.

Altitude and growth: a study of the patterns of physical growth of a high altitude Peruvian Quechua population.

It is suggested that the pattern of growth of members of the indigenous population of Nunoa is related to the hypoxic effects of high altitude, and/or reflects a genetic adaptation to such stress.

Genetic determinants of Tibetan high-altitude adaptation

Uncovering the molecular basis of hypoxic adaptation should have implications for understanding hematological and other adaptations involved in hypoxia tolerance, which would improve understanding of disease mechanisms and could ultimately be translated into targeted therapies for oxygen deprivation, cardiopulmonary and cerebral pathologies, and metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.

Muscle adaptation to altitude: tissue capillarity and capacity for aerobic metabolism.

A mini review of data and current knowledge on muscle capillary to fiber structural relationships and their implications for muscle aerobic function at altitude shows that capillary number and geometry are altered in muscles of several species of birds native or exposed to higher altitude, suggesting capillary growth can occur in skeletal muscle in response to chronic exposure to high altitude.

Postnatal cardiopulmonary adaptations to high altitude

  • L. Huicho
  • Medicine, Biology
    Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology
  • 2007

Developmental and genetic components explain enhanced pulmonary volumes of female Peruvian Quechua.

Results indicate that developmental exposure to high altitude in females constitutes an important factor for all lung volumes, whereas both genetic and developmental factors seem to be important for RV.

Physical adaptation of children to life at high altitude

Children permanently exposed to hypoxia at altitudes of >3000 m above sea level show a phenotypical form of adaptation. Under these environmental conditions, oxygen uptake in the lungs is enhanced by

Developmental components of resting ventilation among high- and low-altitude Andean children and adults.

This paper evaluates the age-associated changes of resting ventilation of 115 high- and low-altitude Aymara subjects, of whom 61 were from the rural Aymura village of Ventilla situated at an average altitude of 4,200 m and 54 from the Rural village of Caranavi situated atanavi, to suggest the resting ventilation (ml/kg/min) of high-altitudes natives is markedly higher than that of low-ALTitude natives.

The effect of high altitude on the growth of children of high socioeconomic status in Bolivia.

  • S. Stinson
  • Psychology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1982
Children who had lived all their lives at high altitude were found to be smaller in terms of general body size than those who had spent the shortest amount of time atHigh altitude, confirming the results of previous investigations of child growth in the Andes.