The effect of chemoreceptor stimulation upon muscle sympathetic nerve activity

Gregory J. Gates, Matthew N. Bartels, John A. Downey, Ronald E. De Meersman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The aim of this investigation was to quantify the combined peripheral and central chemoreceptor contribution to sympathetic outflow above (post) and below (pre) the chemoreceptor ventilatory threshold (CVT). We measured muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) in seven subjects during hypoxic/hypercapnic and room air rebreathe protocols. Comparisons were made using a repeated measures analysis of variance with two within subject factors. One factor contained three levels-hyperventilation, pre-CVT, and post-CVT. The other factor contained two levels-rebreathe and control. Total MSNA increased from hyperventilation to pre-CVT to post-CVT in the rebreathe trial (385.7 ± 95.9, 592.4 ± 155.7, 882.0 ± 235.4 au/15 s respectively) and remained constant in the control trial (433.0 ± 189.3, 409.1 ± 183.4, 406.1 ± 161.4 au/15 s respectively). Ventilation increased in the rebreathe trial only. Heart rate and blood pressure did not change in either trial. These data suggest that the chemoreceptors significantly contribute to the modulation of sympathetic outflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-272
Number of pages5
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 31 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic
  • Chemoreceptor
  • Sympathetic
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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