The effect of evoked muscle tension, active muscle mass, and fiber-type composition on the pressor reflex evoked by muscular contraction was examined in decerebrate and anesthetized cats. Muscular contraction was induced by stimulating the L7 and S1 ventral roots with 0.1-ms duration pulses three times motor threshold at various frequencies. The experiments were designed to isolate the variable under study as much as possible and included the use of selectively denervated preparations to limit contractions to specific muscles. It was found that altering the evoked tension by varying the resting muscle length had commensurate effects on the pressor reflex (greater evoked tension caused a larger reflex). In addition it was found that changing the amount of active muscle mass caused similar changes in the reflex (the smaller the muscle mass, the smaller the reflex). Finally, it was found that contrary to other accounts, pressor reflexes could be evoked by activation of the slow-twitch muscle soleus, composed exclusively of red (type I) fibers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)