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  • 1
    This investigation was designed to determine the contribution of central command to the resetting of the carotid baroreflex during static and dynamic exercise in humans.
  • 2
    Thirteen subjects performed 3.5 min of static one-legged exercise (20 % maximal voluntary contraction) and 7 min dynamic cycling (20 % maximal oxygen uptake) under two conditions: control (no intervention) and with partial neuromuscular blockade (to increase central command influence) using Norcuron (curare). Carotid baroreflex function was determined at rest and during steady-state exercise using a rapid neck pressure/neck suction technique. Whole-body Norcuron was repeatedly administered to effectively reduce hand-grip strength by approximately 50 % of control.
  • 3
    Partial neuromuscular blockade increased heart rate, mean arterial pressure, perceived exertion, lactate concentration and plasma noradrenaline concentration during both static and dynamic exercise when compared to control (P < 0.05). No effect was seen at rest. Carotid baroreflex resetting was augmented from control static and dynamic exercise by partial neuromuscular blockade without alterations in gain (P < 0.05). In addition, the operating point of the reflex was relocated away from the centring point (i.e. closer to threshold) during exercise by partial neuromuscular blockade (P < 0.05).
  • 4
    These findings suggest that central command actively resets the carotid baroreflex during dynamic and static exercise.