Influence of Body Mass Index and Ovarian Cycle on Metaboreflex
Background: Sustained isometric (static) exercise followed by a period of post-exercise
vascular occlusion and consequent skeletal muscles ischemia allows the preservation of
sympatho-excitation (pressor effect) induced by skeletal metaboreceptors. Direct
evidences of the effect of body mass index and phases of ovarian cycle on the
contribution of metaboreflex on the pressor effect of metaboreflex were provided.
Objectives: To provide a comprehensive and optimized protocol for the assessment of
metaboreflex activity and to provide evidences for the contribution of phases of ovarian
cycle and the body mass index on the metaboreflex activity.
Methods: Seventeen males and 7 females were recruited in the present study. The male
subjects were divided according to their body mass index (BMI) into normal weight and
overweight subjects. The female subjects were tested in two sessions, one during midluteal
phase of ovarian cycle and the second session was during early follicular phase of
ovarian cycle. The metaboreflex pressor response during post exercise vascular
occlusion was isolated from pressor response of hand grip static exercise by recording
blood pressure during exercise and during post exercise vascular occlusion. Metaboreflex
contribution to the pressor effect on cardiovascular system (CVS) was calculated.
Results: In males, the mean blood pressure (MBP) and heart rate (HR) were increased
during isometric hand grip exercise by 24% and 21% respectively. During post exercise
vascular occlusion, MBP was maintained at a higher level (by 12%) relative to base level
while HR was returned to base level. In male subjects, metaboreflex contribution to the
pressor effect on CVS was found to be significantly and inversely correlated with the BMI
and metaboreflex contribution tends to be significantly lower (by 37%) in overweight
relative to normal weight subjects. In female subjects, No significant effect was observed
of ovarian phases on the metaboreflex pressor response to sustained hand grip muscle
Conclusion: Body mass index affects metaboreflex activity while phases of ovarian cycle
have no such effect.
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