This study tested the hypothesis that baroreceptor unloading during passive hyperthermia contributes to increases in ventilation and decreases in end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide (P ET ,CO2) during that exposure. Two protocols were performed, in which healthy subjects underwent passive hyperthermia (increasing intestinal temperature by ∼1.8°C) to cause a sustained increase in ventilation and reduction in P ET ,CO2. Upon attaining hyperthermic hyperventilation, in protocol 1 (n = 10; three females) a bolus (19 ± 2 ml kg-1) of warm (∼38°C) isotonic saline was rapidly (5-10 min) infused intravenously to restore reductions in central venous pressure, whereas in protocol 2 (n = 11; five females) phenylephrine was infused intravenously (60-120 μg min-1) to return mean arterial pressure to normothermic levels. In protocol 1, hyperthermia increased ventilation (by 2.2 ± 1.7 l min-1, P <0.01), while reducing P ET ,CO2 (by 4 ± 3 mmHg, P = 0.04) and central venous pressure (by 5 ± 1 mmHg, P 0.05). In protocol 2, hyperthermia increased ventilation (by 5.0 ± 2.7 l min-1, P 0.05). The absence of a reduction in ventilation upon reloading the cardiopulmonary and arterial baroreceptors to pre-hyperthermic levels indicates that baroreceptor unloading with hyperthermia is unlikely to contribute to hyperthermic hyperventilation in humans.
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