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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1997 Feb;82(2):577-83.

Muscle chemoreflex alters carotid sinus baroreflex response in humans.

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Laboratoire des Sciences et Techniques des Activités Physiques et Sportives de l'Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.


The arterial baroreflex opposes pressor responses to muscle ischemia (muscle chemoreflex). Our experiments sought to quantify the unknown effects of muscle chemoreflex on carotid sinus baroreflex (CSB) sensitivity. We generated CSB stimulus-response (S-R) curves by pulsatile application (triggered by each electrocardiogram R wave) of positive and negative neck pressure (from 60 to -80 mmHg in 20-mmHg steps of 20 s each) in seven normal young men. S-R curves were obtained at rest (upright), during the last 3 min of upright cycle ergometer exercise (150 W), and at the first minute of postexercise recovery with leg circulation free (control). A second study repeated the same procedures, except that leg circulation was occluded 20 s before the end of exercise to elicit muscle chemoreflex, and occlusion was maintained during recovery measurements (approximately 3- to 4-min duration). S-R curves for CSB were shifted upward and rightward (25 mmHg) to higher arterial blood pressure (BP) by exercise and less so (10 mmHg) in recovery (free leg flow). Postexercise occlusion (muscle chemoreflex) raised BP and shifted S-R curves above exercise curves. CSB gain rose from -0.26 +/- 0.06 (control) to -0.44 +/- 0.08 (occlusion) during positive neck pressure application and was reduced from -0.14 +/- 0.04 to zero (-0.04 +/- 0.03) during negative neck pressure. Heart rate responses during postexercise muscle chemoreflex were not significantly different from control. Results reveal a nonlinear summation of CSB and muscle chemoreflex effects on BP. BP-raising capability of muscle chemoreflex enhances CSB responses to hypotension but overpowers baroreflex opposition to hypertension.

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