Ischemic preconditioning reduces hemodynamic response during metaboreflex activation


Ischemic preconditioning (IP) has been shown to improve exercise performance and to delay fatigue. However, the precise mechanisms through which IP operates remain elusive. It has been hypothesized that IP lowers the sensation of fatigue by reducing the discharge of group III and IV nerve endings, which also regulate hemodynamics during the metaboreflex. We hypothesized that IP reduces the blood pressure response during the metaboreflex. Fourteen healthy males (age between 25 and 48 yr) participated in this study. They underwent the following randomly assigned protocol: postexercise muscle ischemia (PEMI) test, during which the metaboreflex was elicited after dynamic handgrip; control exercise recovery session (CER) test; and PEMI after IP (IP-PEMI) test. IP was obtained by occluding forearm circulation for three cycles of 5 min spaced by 5 min of reperfusion. Hemodynamics were evaluated by echocardiography and impedance cardiography. The main results were that after IP the mean arterial pressure response was reduced compared with the PEMI test (means ± SD +3.37 ± 6.41 vs. +9.16 ± 7.09 mmHg, respectively). This was the consequence of an impaired venous return that impaired the stroke volume during the IP-PEMI more than during the PEMI test (−1.43 ± 15.35 vs. +10.28 ± 10.479 ml, respectively). It was concluded that during the metaboreflex, IP affects hemodynamics mainly because it impairs the capacity to augment venous return and to recruit the cardiac preload reserve. It was hypothesized that this is the consequence of an increased nitric oxide production, which reduces the possibility to constrict venous capacity vessels.

American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology