Change in the peripheral CO2 chemoreflex from rest to exercise

P. Pianosi, M. C.K. Khoo

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9 Scopus citations


A single-breath CO2 test of peripheral chemosensitivity has recently been described, and elaborated based on model simulations. This study was designed to measure the peripheral CO2 chemoreflex at rest and during heavy exercise to see if carotid chemosensitivity to CO2 increased. Ten healthy, adult males performed an incremental exercise test to determine their ventilatory anaerobic threshold (VAT), and 20 minutes of steady-state exercise at a pre-determined power output above VAT. Arterialized venous blood was obtained during each minute of incremental exercise to verify development of metabolic acidosis. Carotid chemosensitivity was tested repeatedly at rest and in steady-state exercise by the ventilatory response to a single breath of 13% CO2 in air. The peripheral chemoreflex for CO2 for the group of subjects doubled from rest to exercise (mean 0.0961 · s−1 · kPa−1) with all subjects showing an increase. We conclude that the gain of the carotid CO2 chemoreflex increases from rest to exercise at work above the VAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carotid body
  • Exercise ventilation
  • Peripheral chemoreceptor


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