Neurovascular control following small muscle-mass exercise in humans

Tahisha M. Buck, Steven A. Romero, Matthew R. Ely, Dylan C. Sieck, Pedro M. Abdala, John R. Halliwill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Sustained postexercise vasodilation, which may be mediated at both a neural and vascular level, is seen in previously active skeletal muscle vascular beds following both large and small muscle-mass exercise. Blunted sympathetic vascular transduction and a downward resetting of the arterial baroreflex contribute to this vasodilation after cycling (large muscle-mass exercise), but it is unknown if these responses also contribute to sustained vasodilation following small muscle-mass exercise. This study aimed to determine if baroreflex sensitivity is altered, the baroreflex is reset, or if sympathetic vascular transduction is blunted following small muscle-mass exercise. Eleven healthy, college-aged subjects (five males, six females) completed one-leg dynamic knee-extension exercise for 1 h at 60% of peak power output. While cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity was increased ~23% postexercise relative to preexercise (P < 0.05), vascular and integrated baroreflex sensitivity were not altered following exercise (P = 0.31 and P = 0.48). The baroreflex did not exhibit resetting (P > 0.69), and there was no evidence of changes in vascular transduction following exercise (P = 0.73). In conclusion, and in contrast to large musclemass exercise, it appears that small muscle-mass exercise produces a sustained postexercise vasodilation that is largely independent of central changes in the baroreflex.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12289
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Baroreflex
  • Dynamic knee extension
  • Exercise
  • Neurovascular
  • Postexercise hypotension
  • Sympathetic
  • Transduction


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