Skeletal muscle metaboreflex is enhanced in postmenopausal women

Hyun Min Choi, Charles L Stebbins, Hosung Nho, Kyung Ae Kim, Chanho Kim, Jong Kyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study determined whether an elevated muscle metaboreflex contributes to the excessive blood pressure response to exercise in postmenopausal women. Thirty healthy female volunteers were studied (15 postmenopausal and 15 premenopausal). Stroke volume, heart rate, cardiac output (CO), systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and total vascular conductance (TVC) were continuously assessed throughout the experiment. To activate the muscle metaboreflex, occlusion of the vasculature was induced via inflation of a blood pressure cuff (2 min) on the upper arm following static handgrip exercise. Muscle metaboreflex activation increased mean arterial pressure (MAP) in both groups. However, this pressor response was greater in the postmenopausal women (ΔMAP: 21.4 ± 3 vs. 14.5 ± 2 mmHg) (P < 0.05) even though the corresponding increase in CO was less (ΔCO: 0.0 ± 0.2 vs. 0.3 ± 0.2 l/min) (P < 0.05). TVC decreased in both the groups but was more pronounced in the postmenopausal group (ΔTVC: -10.7 ± 2.6 vs. -17.1 ± 3.6 ml/min/mmHg) (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise in postmenopausal women is mediated, in part, by an overactive metaboreflex that is associated with enhanced peripheral vasoconstriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2671-2678
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Cardiac output
  • Cold pressor test
  • Estrogen
  • Exercise pressor reflex
  • Group IV metaboreceptors
  • Postmenopausal women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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