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J Physiol. 1971 Jul;215(3):789-804.

The reflex nature of the pressor response to muscular exercise.


1. In anaesthetized cats tetanic contraction of the hind-limb muscles, elicited by stimulating the ventral roots L6-S1, caused a rise of arterial blood pressure, usually accompanied by small increases in heart rate and pulmonary ventilation: in decerebrate cats, all components of the response were much increased.2. With tetani of different strengths, obtained by stimulating with different intensities at the same frequency, the pressor response increased with increasing tension.3. When muscle contraction had been abolished by gallamine, or when dorsal roots L6-S1 had been sectioned, ventral root stimulation no longer caused a pressor response. The response is therefore a reflex, initiated in the exercising limb.4. The pressor response was not affected by section of all articular nerves to knee and ankle joints, or by section of the vagi. The stimulus therefore originates in the contracting muscles alone.5. The pressor response is potentiated by occluding the circulation through the working muscles. Reasons are discussed for concluding that the stimulus is chemical rather than mechanical, and that the ;metabolic receptors' for this exercise reflex are the free endings of group III and IV sensory nerve fibres located around the blood vessels.

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