In awake dogs, lactic acid was injected into the phrenic and deep circumflex iliac arteries to elicit the diaphragm and abdominal muscle metaboreflexes, respectively. At rest, injections into the phrenic or deep circumflex iliac arteries significantly increased mean arterial blood pressure 21 +/- 7% and reduced cardiac output 6 +/- 2% and blood flow to the hindlimbs 20 +/- 9%. Simultaneously, total systemic, hindlimb, and abdominal expiratory muscle vascular conductances were reduced. These cardiovascular responses were not accompanied by significant changes in the amplitude or timing of the diaphragm electromyogram. During treadmill exercise that increased cardiac output, hindlimb blood flow, and vascular conductance 159 +/- 106, 276 +/- 309, and 299 +/- 90% above resting values, lactic acid injected into the phrenic or deep circumflex iliac arteries also elicited pressor responses and reduced hindlimb blood flow and vascular conductance. Adrenergic receptor blockade at rest eliminated the cardiovascular effects of the respiratory muscle metaboreflex. We conclude that the cardiovascular effects of respiratory muscle metaboreflex activation are similar to those previously reported for limb muscles. When activated via metabolite production, the respiratory muscle metaboreflex may contribute to the increased sympathetic tone and redistribution of blood flow during exercise.