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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Feb;105(3):351-6. doi: 10.1007/s00421-008-0910-8. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

Enhanced metaboreflex sensitivity in hypertensive humans.

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  • 1Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, University of Delaware, Fred Rust Arena, Newark, DE 19716, USA.


The exercise pressor reflex (EPR) is composed of the mechanoreflex and the metaboreflex and has been shown to be overactive in spontaneously hypertensive rats. The aim of the present study was to isolate the metaboreflex using post-exercise ischemia (PEI) and examine the BP response in normotensive (NTN) and hypertensive (HTN) humans. We hypothesize that the post-exercise ischemia-induced maintenance of BP will be greater in HTN when compared to NTN adults. A total of 15 NTN (65 +/- 1 years) and 12 HTN (64 +/- 1 years) adults were recruited. Beat-to-beat mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured non-invasively (Finometer). Dynamic handgrip exercise (DHE) was performed for 3 min followed by 2 min of PEI. An unpaired t test was used to examine differences between groups. As compared to resting baseline values, the change in MAP during PEI was greater in HTN than NTN subjects (HTN: Delta = 12 +/- 3 mmHg, NTN: Delta = 6 +/- 1 mmHg, P < 0.05). These data suggest that HTN humans have enhanced metaboreflex sensitivity.

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