Ventilatory responses to dynamic exercise elicited by intramuscular sensors

Scott A. Smith, Kevin M. Gallagher, Kristin H. Norton, Ross G. Querry, Rita M. Welch-O'Connor, Peter B. Raven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Eight subjects, aged 27.0 ± 1.6 yr, performed incremental workload cycling to investigate the contribution of skeletal muscle mechano- and metaboreceptors to ventilatory control during dynamic exercise. Methods: Each subject performed four bouts of exercise: exercise with no intervention (CON); exercise with bilateral thigh cuffs inflated to 90 mm Hg (CUFF); exercise with application of lower-body positive pressure (LBPP) to 45 torr (PP); and exercise with 90 mm Hg thigh cuff inflation and 45 torr LBPP (CUFF+PP). Ventilatory responses and pulmonary gas exchange variables were collected breath-by-breath with concomitant measurement of leg intramuscular pressure. Results: Ventilation (V̇(E)) was significantly elevated from CON during PP and CUFF+PP at workloads corresponding to ≥ 60% CON peak oxygen uptake (V̇O(2peak)) and during CUFF at workloads ≥ 80% CON V̇O(2peak), P < 0.05. The V̇O2 at which ventilatory threshold occurred was significantly reduced from CON (2.17 ± 0.28 L · min-1) to 1.60 ± 0.19 L · min-1, 1.45 ± 0.15 L · min-1, and 1.15 ± 0.11 L · min-1 during CUFF, PP, and CUFF+PP, respectively. The slope of the linear regression describing the V̇E/CO2 output relationship was increased from CON by approximately 22% during CUFF, 40% during PP, and 41% during CUFF+ PP. Conclusions: As intramuscular pressure was significantly elevated immediately upon application of LBPP during PP and CUFF+PP without a concomitant increase in V̇(E), it seems unlikely that LBPP-induced increases in V̇(E) can be attributed to activation of the mechanoreflex. These findings suggest that LBPP-induced reductions in perfusion pressure and decreases in venous outflow resulting from inflation of bilateral thigh cuffs may generate a metabolite sensitive intramuscular ventilatory stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999



  • Carotid chemoreceptors
  • Central command
  • Lower-body positive pressure
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Metaboreceptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Smith, S. A., Gallagher, K. M., Norton, K. H., Querry, R. G., Welch-O'Connor, R. M., & Raven, P. B. (1999). Ventilatory responses to dynamic exercise elicited by intramuscular sensors. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(2), 277-286.