The muscle metaboreflex and arterial baroreflex regulate arterial pressure through distinct mechanisms. During submaximal exercise muscle metaboreflex activation (MMA) elicits a pressor response virtually solely by increasing cardiac output (CO) while baroreceptor unloading increases mean arterial pressure (MAP) primarily through peripheral vasoconstriction. The interaction between the two reflexes when activated simultaneously has not been well established. We activated the muscle metaboreflex in chronically instrumented canines during dynamic exercise (via graded reductions in hindlimb blood flow; HLBF) followed by simultaneous baroreceptor unloading (via bilateral carotid occlusion; BCO). We hypothesized that simultaneous activation of both reflexes would result in an exacerbated pressor response owing to both an increase in CO and vasoconstriction. We observed that coactivation of muscle metaboreflex and arterial baroreflex resulted in additive interaction although the mechanisms for the pressor response were different. MMA increased MAP via increases in CO, heart rate (HR) and ventricular contractility whereas baroreflex unloading during MMA caused further increases in MAP via a large decrease in non-ischemic vascular conductance (NIVC; conductance of all vascular beds except the hindlimb vasculature) indicating substantial peripheral vasoconstriction. Moreover, there was significant vasoconstriction within the ischemic muscle itself during coactivation of the two reflexes but the remaining vasculature vasoconstricted to a greater extent, thereby redirecting blood flow to the ischemic muscle. We conclude that baroreceptor unloading during MMA induces preferential peripheral vasoconstriction to improve blood flow to the ischemic active skeletal muscle.
- exercise pressor reflex
- ischemic active skeletal muscle
- sympathetic vasoconstriction
- carotid baroreceptor unloading
- mild dynamic exercise
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology