Muscle mechanoreflex activation via passive calf stretch causes renal vasoconstriction in healthy humans

Rachel C. Drew, Cheryl A. Blaha, Michael D. Herr, Ruda Cui, Lawrence I. Sinoway

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Reflex renal vasoconstriction occurs during exercise, and renal vasoconstriction in response to upper-limb muscle mechanoreflex activation has been documented. However, the renal vasoconstrictor response to muscle mechanoreflex activation originating from lower limbs, with and without local metabolite accumulation, has not been assessed. Eleven healthy young subjects (26 ± 1 yr; 5 men) underwent two trials involving 3-min passive calf muscle stretch (mechanoreflex) during 7.5-min lower-limb circulatory occlusion (CO). In one trial, 1.5-min 70% maximal voluntary contraction isometric calf exercise preceded CO to accumulate metabolites during CO and stretch (mechanoreflex and metaboreflex; 70% trial). A control trial involved no exercise before CO (mechanoreflex alone; 0% trial). Beat-to-beat renal blood flow velocity (RBFV; Doppler ultrasound), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP; photoplethysmographic finger cuff), and heart rate (electrocardiogram) were recorded. Renal vascular resistance (RVR), an index of renal vasoconstriction, was calculated as MAP/RBFV. All baseline cardiovascular variables were similar between trials. Stretch increased RVR and decreased RBFV in both trials (change from CO with stretch: RVR - 0% trial = Δ 10 ± 2%, 70% trial = Δ 7 ± 3%; RBFV - 0% trial = Δ -3.8 ± 1.1 cm/s, 70% trial = Δ -2.7 ± 1.5 cm/s; P < 0.05 for RVR and RBFV). These stretch-induced changes were of similar magnitudes in both trials, e.g., with and without local metabolite accumulation, as well as when thromboxane production was inhibited. These findings suggest that muscle mechanoreflex activation via passive calf stretch causes renal vasoconstriction, with and without muscle metaboreflex activation, in healthy humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R956-R964
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 8 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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