Muscle metaboreflex activation by static exercise dilates pupil in humans

Naoyuki Hayashi*, Nami Someya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We examined a hypothesis that static exercise and activation of sympathetic activation by metabolically sensitive skeletal muscle afferents (metaboreflex) influence the sympathetic nervous activity modulating pupil diameter. Nine subjects performed 2 min isometric handgrip exercise at 30% maximal voluntary contraction, which was followed by either 2 min of postexercise muscle ischemia (PEMI) in the forearm or no PEMI (control trial). The pupil diameter and mean blood pressure (MAP) increased significantly from rest during exercise in PEMI and control trials (5 ± 1 and 7 ± 1% in diameter; 13 ± 2 and 12 ± 2 mmHg in MAP, respectively). These increases in the diameter and MAP were maintained during PEMI (7 ± 2% and 9 ± 2 mmHg) but not during the recovery period in the control trial (3 ± 2% and 1 ± 2 mmHg). These results demonstrate that static handgrip exercise increases the pupil diameter, and this increase is partly due to the activation of metaboreflex in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1221
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Exercise pressor reflex
  • Postexercise muscle ischemia
  • Pupil diameter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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