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Am J Physiol. 1993 Dec;265(6 Pt 2):H1928-38.

Carotid baroreflex responsiveness during dynamic exercise in humans.

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1
Department of Physiology, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Worth 76107.

Abstract

We utilized 5-s changes of neck pressure and neck suction (from 40 to -80 Torr) to alter carotid sinus transmural pressure in seven men with peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) of 41.4 +/- 3.6 ml O2.kg-1.min-1. Peak responses of heart rate (HR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) to each carotid sinus perturbation were used to construct open-loop baroreflex curves at rest and during exercise at 25.7 +/- 1.1 and 47.4 +/- 1.9% VO2peak. The baroreflex curves were fit to a logistic function describing the sigmoidal nature of the carotid sinus baroreceptor reflex. Maximal gain for baroreflex control of HR (-0.31 +/- 0.05 beats.min-1.mmHg-1) and MAP (-0.30 +/- 0.08 mmHg/mmHg) at rest was the same as during exercise at 25 and 50% VO2peak (-0.30 +/- 0.05, -0.39 +/- 0.13 beats.min-1.mmHg-1 for HR, P = NS; -0.23 +/- 0.04, -0.60 +/- 0.38 mmHg/mmHg for MAP, P = NS). Resetting of the baroreflex occurred during exercise at 50% VO2peak. The centering point, threshold, and saturation pressures were significantly increased for baroreflex control of HR (delta pressure = 26.3 +/- 6.8, 19.6 +/- 10.4, 33.0 +/- 5.6 mmHg, P < 0.05) and MAP (delta pressure = 27.1 +/- 7.7, 16.1 +/- 14.8, 38.2 +/- 8.5 mmHg, P < 0.05). The operating point (steady-state HR and MAP) was shifted closer to threshold of the baroreflex during exercise at 50% VO2peak, as reflected by differences in HR and MAP between the centering and operating points (delta HR = 12.5 +/- 4.7 beats/min, P = 0.10; delta MAP = 7.6 +/- 1.3 mmHg, P < 0.05). These findings suggest a resetting of the carotid baroreflex during exercise with no attenuation in maximal sensitivity. A shift in operating point toward threshold of the baroreflex enables effective buffering of elevations in systemic blood pressure via reflex alterations in HR and MAP.

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