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1. The acute ventilatory response to a brief period of hypoxia (AHVR) was measured in six subjects (a) at rest, (b) during electrically induced leg exercise (EEL), (c) during voluntary leg exercise at an external work rate matched to electrical exercise (EV1) and (d) during voluntary leg exercise at an internal work rate (i.e. metabolic rate) matched to electrical exercise (EV2). The end-tidal PO2 during hypoxia was 50 mmHg and the end-tidal PCO2 was held constant at 1-2 mmHg above resting values throughout each of these four protocols. 2. EEL was produced by surface electrode stimulation of the quadriceps muscles so as to cause the legs to extend at the knee and lift a set of weights via a pulley system. During EV1, each subject lifted the same weight through the same height and at the same frequency as during his EEL protocol. During EV2, the weight, the height through which it was lifted and the frequency of voluntary contractions were altered to produce a similar O2 consumption and CO2 production as during EEL. 3. In each subject, end-tidal PCO2 values showed no change between the four protocols, and in three subjects in whom they were measured, arterial PCO2 values were also similar between the protocols. Venous lactate levels did not increase after EEL or EV2. 4. The AHVR during EEL (14.1 +/- 1.42 l min-1; mean +/- S.E.M) was significantly increased (Student's paired t test) compared with rest (7.55 +/- 1.10 l min-1; P < 0.003).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


Journal article


J Physiol

Publication Date





161 - 168


Adult, Carbon Dioxide, Electric Stimulation, Exercise Test, Humans, Lactates, Lactic Acid, Leg, Male, Muscle Contraction, Muscle Relaxation, Oxygen, Oxygen Consumption, Physical Exertion, Pulmonary Gas Exchange, Respiration, Respiratory Function Tests