Muscle metaboreceptors modulate postexercise sweating, but not cutaneous blood flow, independent of baroreceptor loading status

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015 Dec 1;309(11):R1415-24. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00287.2015. Epub 2015 Sep 16.


We examined whether sustained changes in baroreceptor loading status during prolonged postexercise recovery can alter the metaboreceptors' influence on heat loss. Thirteen young males performed a 1-min isometric handgrip exercise (IHG) at 60% maximal voluntary contraction followed by 2 min of forearm ischemia (to activate metaboreceptors) before and 15, 30, 45, and 60 min after a 15-min intense treadmill running exercise (>90% maximal heart rate) in the heat (35°C). This was repeated on three separate days with continuous lower body positive (LBPP, +40 mmHg), negative (LBNP, -20 mmHg), or no pressure (Control) from 13- to 65-min postexercise. Sweat rate (ventilated capsule; forearm, chest, upper back) and cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC; forearm, upper back) were measured. Relative to pre-IHG levels, sweating at all sites increased during IHG and remained elevated during ischemia at baseline and similarly at 30, 45, and 60 min postexercise (site average sweat rate increase during ischemia: Control, 0.13 ± 0.02; LBPP, 0.12 ± 0.02; LBNP, 0.15 ± 0.02 mg·min(-1)·cm(-2); all P < 0.01), but not at 15 min (all P > 0.10). LBPP and LBNP did not modulate the pattern of sweating to IHG and ischemia (all P > 0.05). At 15-min postexercise, forearm CVC was reduced from pre-IHG levels during both IHG and ischemia under LBNP only (ischemia: 3.9 ± 0.8% CVCmax; P < 0.02). Therefore, we show metaboreceptors increase postexercise sweating in the middle to late stages of recovery (30-60 min), independent of baroreceptor loading status and similarly between skin sites. In contrast, metaboreflex modulation of forearm but not upper back CVC occurs only in the early stages of recovery (15 min) and is dependent upon baroreceptor unloading.

Keywords: baroreflex; heat loss responses; metaboreflex; postexercise; thermoregulation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Baroreflex
  • Blood Pressure
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Forearm / blood supply*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Ischemia
  • Lower Body Negative Pressure
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Pressoreceptors / metabolism*
  • Random Allocation
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Sweating*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult