Cardiorespiratory response patterns to afferent stimulation of muscle nerves in the rabbit

G. Raimondi, J. M. Legramante, F. Iellamo, S. Cassarino, G. Peruzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that stimulation of thin fiber muscle afferents is capable of matching the cardiovascular and ventilatory responses. In 46 anesthetized rabbits, the central end of the gastrocnemius nerves was electrically stimulated at 3 [low-frequency stimulation (LFS)] and 100 Hz [high-frequency stimulation (HFS)]. Intensities up to 200 times motor threshold were used. LFS induced a decrease in both mean arterial pressure (-19.9 ± 2.9%) and systemic vascular resistance (- 23.9 ± 3.2%), an increase in cardiac output (CO) (6.4 ± 1:7%), stroke volume (7.3 ± 3.0%) and pulmonary ventilation (V̇E) (26.7 ± 2.3%); heart rate and central venous pressure were not changed significantly. HFS induced an increase in mean arterial pressure (11.1 ± 4.9%), CO (15.8 ± 5.4%), stroke volume (13.4 ± 5.4%), and V̇E but no significant changes in heart rate, systemic vascular resistance and central venous pressure. In both response patterns, arterial and end-tidal CO2 did not change significantly. The patterns of cardiorespiratory responses to both LFS and HFS were characterized by an increase in CO and V̇E without concomitant decreases in arterial and end-tidal PCO2 (isocapnic hyperpnea).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-273
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1996


  • cardiopulmonary matching
  • cardiorespiratory reflexes
  • isocapnic hyperpnea
  • muscle afferents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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