The paradox of sympathetic vasoconstriction in exercising skeletal muscle

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2001 Oct;29(4):159-63. doi: 10.1097/00003677-200110000-00005.


Is there sympathetic vasoconstriction in exercising skeletal muscle? Although convincing evidence exists that demonstrates vasoconstriction in active muscle, the proposition that the sympathetic nervous system constricts skeletal muscle during exercise poses a paradox, given the robust vasodilation that occurs in muscle during exercise. Ultimately, muscle perfusion is a balance between metabolic vasodilation and sympathetic vasoconstriction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cardiac Output
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology*