Influence of central command and ergoreceptors on the splanchnic circulation during isometric exercise

Daniel Duprez, Dirk Voet, Marc De Buyzere, Benny Drieghe, Bruno Vyncke, Sigrid Mareels, Marcel Afschrift, Denis L. Clement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The splanchnic circulation can make a major contribution to blood flow changes. However, the role of the splanchnic circulation in the reflex adjustments to the blood pressure increase during isometric exercise is not well documented. The central command and the muscle chemoreflex are the two major mechanisms involved in the blood pressure response to isometric exercise. This study aimed to examine the behaviour of the superior mesenteric artery during isometric handgrip (IHG) at 30% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). The pulsatility index (PI) of the blood velocity waveform of the superior mesenteric artery was taken as the study parameter. A total of ten healthy subjects [mean age, 21.1 (SEM 0.3) years] performed an IHG at 30% MVC for 90 s. At 5 s prior to the end of the exercise, muscle circulation was arrested for 90 s to study the effect of the muscle chemoreflex (post exercise arterial occlusion, PEAO). The IHG at 30% MVC caused a decrease in superior mesenteric artery PI, from 4.84 (SEM 1.57) at control level to 3.90 (SEM 1.07) (P = 0.015). The PI further decreased to 3.17 (SEM 0.70) (P = 0.01) during PEAO. Our results indicated that ergoreceptors may be involved in the superior mesenteric artery vasodilatation during isometric exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-463
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1995


  • Central command
  • Isometric exercise
  • Muscle chemoreflexes
  • Pulsatility index
  • Splanchnic circulation


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