Neural control of the cardiovascular system during exercise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this review was to give an overview on the current knowledge on the neural mechanisms of cardiovascular regulation during exercise. Evidence derived mainly from human studies which supports the contribution of the different control mechanisms, namely the central command, the reflex drive from active muscles and the arterial baroreflex, with the attendant modifications in autonomic nervous system activity, in determining the cardiovascular responses to exercise are discussed, along with some controversial issues and evolving concepts in exercise physiology. In particular, data that show how the various neural mechanisms involved in cardiovascular regulation during exercise are differently modulated by factors related to the muscular activity being performed, such as the type and intensity of exercise and the size of the active muscle masses are presented, stressing the plasticity of the neural network. Finally, clinical implications pertaining to neural cardiovascular regulation and exercise are advanced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-212
Number of pages13
JournalItalian Heart Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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