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Pflugers Arch. 1987 Sep;410(1-2):143-52.

Response of chemosensitive nerve fibers of group III and IV to metabolic changes in rat muscles.

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Physiologisches Institut, Deutschen Sporthochschule Köln, Federal Republic of Germany.


Spike recordings were obtained with preparations of group III and IV fibers from the nervus peroneus of the rat. During the recordings the muscle was stimulated by chemical substances simulating metabolic effects of static exercise: increase of [K+], enhancement of osmolality and increase of concentrations of lactic acid and inorganic phosphates. Two experimental setups were used: in series I application was performed by a perfusion of the circulatorily isolated hindleg, and in series II a single muscle of the hindleg (musculus extensor digitorum longus) was superfused by control or test solutions. Only those fiber preparations were further investigated which did not respond to pressure, tension or squeezing of the muscle. Only few fibers that were exposed to all of our stimuli responded to none of them; from the rest, about the half were selective or only preferential for one stimulus. The majority of the fibers adapted their response after 8 min while the applications still endured. A comparison of all fibers (in series II) proved that all the four stimuli elicited significant increases of activity. The greatest significant effects were found for lactic acid and potassium (in series I and II). Since the concentrations used in the test applications were characteristic for medium and heavy exercise these results support the hypothesis that metabolic muscle receptors participate in the peripheral control of circulatory and respiratory drives during static exercise.

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