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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1994 Feb;76(2):610-5.

Beta-adrenergic blockade does not prevent the lactate response to exercise after acclimatization to high altitude.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309.


We examined the extent to which epinephrine influences blood lactate adjustments to exercise during both acute (AC) and chronic (CH) high-altitude exposure. Eleven male sea level residents were divided into a control group (n = 5) receiving a placebo or a drug group (n = 6) receiving 240 mg/day of propranolol. All subjects were studied at rest and during 45 min of submaximal exercise (approximately 50% of sea level maximal O2 uptake) at sea level (SL) and within 4 h of exposure to and after 3 wk residence at 4,300 m (summit of Pikes Peak). Blood samples were collected from the femoral artery for epinephrine and lactate concentration. Exercising blood lactate concentration was significantly different across all altitude conditions such that AC > CH > SL (P < 0.05). For a given arterial O2 saturation, mean exercising blood lactates were lower for the beta-blocked group compared with controls; however, both groups demonstrated similar patterns across all conditions. Epinephrine levels during exercise followed a similar pattern to that of lactate, averaging 0.67, 0.43, and 0.29 ng/ml for AC, CH, and SL, respectively. The correlation between lactate and epinephrine was 0.93 and 0.84 for control and beta-blocked subjects, respectively. Whereas during exercise epinephrine was consistently higher for the beta-blocked group than controls, this difference was only significant during CH exposure. The epinephrine response was related to the extent of hypoxia in both groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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