Influence of sex and active muscle mass on renal vascular responses during static exercise

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During exercise, reflex renal vasoconstriction helps maintain blood pressure and redistributes blood flow to the contracting muscle. Sex and muscle mass have been shown to influence certain cardiovascular responses to exercise. Whether sex and/or muscle mass influence renal vasoconstrictor responses to exercise is unknown. We studied healthy men (n = 10) and women (n = 10) matched for age and body mass index during handgrip (HG, small muscle mass) and quadriceps contraction (QC, large muscle mass) as beat-to-beat changes in renal blood flow velocity (RBV; duplex ultrasound), mean arterial pressure (MAP; Finapres), and heart rate (ECG) were monitored. Renal vascular resistance (RVR) index was calculated as MAP ÷ RBV. Responses to HG vs. QC were compared in 13 subjects. We found that 1) RVR responses to short (15-s) bouts and fatiguing HG were similar in men and women (change in RVR during 15-s HG at 70% of maximum voluntary contraction = 23 ± 4 and 31 ± 4% in men and women, respectively, P = not significant); 2) post-HG circulatory responses were similar in men and women; and 3) HG and QC were similar during short (15-s) bouts (change in RVR during HG at 50% of maximum voluntary contraction = 19 ± 3 and 18 ± 5% for arm and leg, respectively, P = not significant). Our findings suggest that muscle reflex-mediated renal vasoconstriction is similar in men and women during static exercise. Moreover, muscle mass does not contribute to the magnitude of the reflex renal vasoconstrictor response seen with muscle contraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H121-H126
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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