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Effects of positive and negative exercise on ventilatory CO2 sensitivity

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Investigations in our laboratory have shown an increased slope of the ventilatory response curve to CO2 (CO2 sensitivity) during positive and negative exercise as compared with the resting condition. CO2 sensitivity during positive and negative exercise did not differ in spite of differences in metabolism (\(\dot V\)O2, \(\dot V\)CO2) and type of muscle contraction (concentric or eccentric).

Various aspects of positive and negative exercise were examined in order to find out whether they can explain the identical CO2 sensitivity. Cardiac output, oxygen consumption, rectal temperature and venous catecholamine concentration appeared to be higher in positive exercise than in negative exercise, and higher in negative exercise than at rest.

However, these differences between the two types of exercise contrast with the identical CO2 sensitivity and thus cannot be of major importance in determining CO2 sensitivity. It is hypothesized that one or more of these variables might be responsible for increased CO2 sensitivity during exercise as compared with rest. The CO2 sensitivity, once increased, seems to be unaffected by further increases in these variables.

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Correspondence to M. A. M. Hulsbosch.

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Hulsbosch, M.A.M., Binkhorst, R.A. & Folgering, H.T. Effects of positive and negative exercise on ventilatory CO2 sensitivity. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 47, 73–81 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00422485

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Key words

  • Ventilatory CO2-response
  • Positive and negative exercise
  • Temperature
  • Catecholamines
  • Cardiac output