Send to

Choose Destination
Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 1997;25:365-89.

Baroreflex regulation of blood pressure during dynamic exercise.

Author information

Department of Integrative Physiology, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Ft. Worth, USA.
U TX Southwestern Med Ctr, Dallas


From the work of Potts et al. Papelier et al. and Shi et al. it is readily apparent that the arterial (aortic and carotid) baroreflexes are reset to function at the prevailing ABP of exercise. The blood pressure of exercise is the result of the hemodynamic (cardiac output and TPR) responses, which appear to be regulated by two redundant neural control systems, "Central Command" and the "exercise pressor reflex". Central Command is a feed-forward neural control system that operates in parallel with the neural regulation of the locomotor system and appears to establish the hemodynamic response to exercise. Within the central nervous system it appears that the HLR may be the operational site for Central Command. Specific neural sites within the HLR have been demonstrated in animals to be active during exercise. With the advent of positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), the anatomical areas of the human brain related to Central Command are being mapped. It also appears that the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius and the ventrolateral medulla may serve as an integrating site as they receive neural information from the working muscles via the group III/IV muscle afferents as well as from higher brain centers. This anatomical site within the CNS is now the focus of many investigations in which arterial baroreflex function, Central Command and the "exercise pressor reflex" appear to demonstrate inhibitory or facilitatory interaction. The concept of whether Central Command is the prime mover in the resetting of the arterial baroreceptors to function at the exercising ABP or whether the resetting is an integration of the "exercise pressor reflex" information with that of Central Command is now under intense investigation. However, it would be justified to conclude, from the data of Bevegard and Shepherd, Dicarlo and Bishop, Potts et al., and Papelier et al. that the act of exercise results in the resetting of the arterial baroreflex. In addition, if, as we have proposed, the cardiopulmonary baroreceptors primarily monitors and reflexly regulates cardiac filling volume, it would seem from the data of Mack et al. and Potts et al. that the cardiopulmonary baroreceptor is also reset at the beginning of exercise. Therefore, investigations of the neural mechanisms of regulation involving Central Command and cardiopulmonary afferents, similar to those being undertaken for the arterial baroreflex, need to be established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center