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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1987 Feb;62(2):646-50.

Unaltered norepinephrine-heart rate relationship in exercise with exogenous heat.


We measured plasma norepinephrine (NE) concentration, an index of sympathetic nervous activity, and epinephrine (E), an index of adrenal medulla activity, in six normal young men during mild to severe exercise, with and without superimposed heat stress. The primary objective was to observe whether the normally close relationship between heart rate and log NE concentration in upset when heart rate at a given work load is increased by heat stress. Exercise, beginning at 50 W, was graded in 50-W increments lasting 10 min each up to 200 W, which lasted 5-10 min. Each subject went through the protocol twice, once with skin temperature kept low by a water-perfused suit and then with skin temperature raised to 38 degrees C. Exogenous heart stress raised log circulating NE concentration in proportion to the rise in heart rate at a given work load so that the usual relationship between these variables, previously observed during other stresses, was preserved. In contrast to some other stresses, heat stress had no added effect on E concentration, indicating that this stress during exercise raises sympathetic neural activity (as reflected in the rise in NE) without stimulating additional adrenal release of E.

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