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Am J Physiol. 1991 Nov;261(5 Pt 2):R1307-12.

Static muscle contraction reflexly increases adrenal sympathetic nerve activity in rats.

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Harry S. Moss Heart Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-9034.


Little is known about the mechanisms responsible for activation of sympathoadrenal function during exercise. We hypothesized that sympathoadrenal discharge is activated at the onset of exercise by a reflex arising in the contracting muscle. Adrenal sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) was recorded during 1 min stimulation of the tibial nerve at two times motor threshold, before and during neuromuscular blockade, in 12 alpha-chloralose-anesthetized rats. Static muscle contractions, induced by stimulation before neuromuscular blockade, were repeated during ganglionic blockade (n = 6) to specifically test reflex activation of preganglionic activity to the adrenal gland. During static contraction, adrenal SNA rapidly increased (P less than 0.05) to a maximum of 89 +/- 12% above basal and then declined, reaching basal levels after 30 s of muscle contraction. Tibial nerve stimulation during neuromuscular blockade had no effect on adrenal SNA. In most rats, adrenal SNA decreased with ganglionic blockade, indicating postganglionic as well as preganglionic innervation of the adrenal gland. During ganglionic blockade, static muscle contractions elicited a 140 +/- 21% increase in adrenal preganglionic SNA. In conclusion, static muscle contraction reflexly increases SNA to the adrenal gland, providing a mechanism for sympathoadrenal activation at the onset of exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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