We investigated whether selective muscle mechanoreceptor activation in the lower limb opposes arm muscle metaboreceptor activation-mediated limb vasoconstriction. Seven subjects completed two trials: one control trial and one stretch trial. Both trials included 2 min of handgrip and 2 min of posthandgrip exercise muscle ischemia (PEMI). In the stretch trial, a 2-min sustained triceps surae stretch, by brief passive dorsiflexion of the right foot, was performed simultaneously during PEMI. Mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and forearm blood flow (FBF) in the nonexercised arm and forearm vascular conductance (FVC) in the nonexercised arm were measured. During PEMI in the control trial, mean arterial pressure was significantly greater and FBF and FVC were significantly lower than baseline values (P < 0.05 for each). In contrast, FBF and FVC during PEMI in the stretch trial exhibited different responses than in the control trial. FBF and FVC were significantly greater in the stretch trial than in the control trial (FBF, 5.5 ± 0.4 vs. 3.8 ± 0.4 ml·100 ml-1·min-1; FVC, 0.048 ± 0.004 vs. 0.033 ± 0.003 unit, respectively; P < 0.05). These results indicate that passive triceps surae stretch can inhibit vasoconstriction in the nonexercised forearm mediated via muscle metaboreceptor activation in the exercised arm.
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