Ventilatory responses to dynamic exercise elicited by intramuscular sensors

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Feb;31(2):277-86. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199902000-00012.


Purpose: Eight subjects, aged 27.0+/-1.6 yr, performed incremental workload cycling to investigate the contribution of skeletal muscle mechano- and metaboreceptors to ventilatory control during dynamic exercise.

Methods: Each subject performed four bouts of exercise: exercise with no intervention (CON); exercise with bilateral thigh cuffs inflated to 90 mm Hg (CUFF); exercise with application of lower-body positive pressure (LBPP) to 45 torr (PP); and exercise with 90 mm Hg thigh cuff inflation and 45 torr LBPP (CUFF+PP). Ventilatory responses and pulmonary gas exchange variables were collected breath-by-breath with concomitant measurement of leg intramuscular pressure.

Results: Ventilation (VE) was significantly elevated from CON during PP and CUFF+PP at workloads corresponding to > or = 60% CON peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and during CUFF at workloads > or = 80% CON VO2peak, P < 0.05. The VO2 at which ventilatory threshold occurred was significantly reduced from CON (2.17+/-0.28 L x min(-1)) to 1.60+/-0.19 L x min(-1), 1.45+/-0.15 L x min(-1), and 1.15+/-0.11 L x min(-1) during CUFF, PP, and CUFF+PP, respectively. The slope of the linear regression describing the VE/CO2 output relationship was increased from CON by approximately 22% during CUFF, 40% during PP, and 41% during CUFF+PP.

Conclusions: As intramuscular pressure was significantly elevated immediately upon application of LBPP during PP and CUFF+PP without a concomitant increase in VE, it seems unlikely that LBPP-induced increases in VE can be attributed to activation of the mechanoreflex. These findings suggest that LBPP-induced reductions in perfusion pressure and decreases in venous outflow resulting from inflation of bilateral thigh cuffs may generate a metabolite sensitive intramuscular ventilatory stimulus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cardiac Output / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Mechanoreceptors / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Pressure*
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • Respiration*