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Beta-adrenergic blockade and metabo-chemoreflex contributions to exercise capacity.

Author(s): Beloka S, Gujic M, Deboeck G, Niset G, Ciarka A, Argacha JF, Adamopoulos D, Van de Borne P, Naeije R

Affiliation(s): Department of Cardiology, Erasme Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.

Publication date & source: 2008-11, Med Sci Sports Exerc., 40(11):1932-8.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PURPOSE: Exercise-induced dyspnea in patients with cardiopulmonary diseases may be related to sympathetic nervous system activation, with increased metabo- and/or chemosensitivities. Whether this mechanism plays a role in exercising normal subjects remains unclear. METHODS: Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), HR, ventilation (V(E)), O2 saturation (SpO2), and end-tidal PCO2 (PetCO2) were measured in 14 healthy young adults after 1 wk of beta1-receptor blockade with bisoprolol 5 mg x d(-1) versus placebo after a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover design. The MSNA and the ventilatory responses to hyperoxic hypercapnia (7% CO2 in O2), DeltaV(E)/DeltaPetCO2, and isocapnic hypoxia (10% O2 in N2), DeltaV(E)/DeltaSpO2, and to an isometric muscle contraction followed by a local circulatory arrest (metaboreflex) were determined at rest followed by an incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test. RESULTS: Bisoprolol did not change the V(E) and MSNA responses to hypercapnia, hyperoxia, or isometric muscle contraction or ischemia. Bisoprolol decreased maximum O2 uptake (P < 0.05), workload (P < 0.05), and HR (P < 0.0001) and both V(E)/VO2 and V(E)/VCO2 slopes (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that decreased aerobic exercise capacity after intake of beta-blockers is accompanied by decreased ventilation at any metabolic rate. However, this occurs without detectable change in the sympathetic nervous system tone or in metabo- or chemosensitivity and is therefore probably of hemodynamic origin.

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