Regulation of VO₂ kinetics by O₂ delivery: insights from acute hypoxia and heavy-intensity priming exercise in young men

Matthew D Spencer, Juan M Murias, Tyler M Grey, Donald H Paterson
Journal of Applied Physiology 2012, 112 (6): 1023-32
This study examined the separate and combined effects of acute hypoxia (Hypo) and heavy-intensity "priming" exercise (Hvy) on pulmonary O(2) uptake (Vo(2p)) kinetics during moderate-intensity exercise (Mod). Breath-by-breath Vo(2p) and near-infrared spectroscopy-derived muscle deoxygenation {deoxyhemoglobin concentration [HHb]} were monitored continuously in 10 men (23 ± 4 yr) during repetitions of a Mod 1-Hvy-Mod 2 protocol, where each of the 6-min (Mod or Hvy) leg-cycling bouts was separated by 6 min at 20 W. Subjects were exposed to Hypo [fraction of inspired O(2) (Fi(O(2))) = 15%, Mod 2 + Hypo] or "sham" (Fi(O(2)) = 20.9%, Mod 2-N) 2 min following Hvy in half of these repetitions; Mod was also performed in Hypo without Hvy (Mod 1 + Hypo). On-transient Vo(2p) and [HHb] responses were modeled as a monoexponential. Data were scaled to a relative percentage of the response (0-100%), the signals were time-aligned, and the individual [HHb]-to-Vo(2) ratio was calculated. Compared with control (Mod 1), τVo(2p) and the O(2) deficit (26 ± 7 s and 638 ± 144 ml, respectively) were reduced (P < 0.05) in Mod 2-N (20 ± 5 s and 529 ± 196 ml) and increased (P < 0.05) in Mod 1 + Hypo (34 ± 14 s and 783 ± 184 ml); in Mod 2 + Hypo, τVo(2p) was increased (30 ± 8 s, P < 0.05), yet O(2) deficit was unaffected (643 ± 193 ml, P > 0.05). The modest "overshoot" in the [HHb]-to-Vo(2) ratio (reflecting an O(2) delivery-to-utilization mismatch) in Mod 1 (1.06 ± 0.04) was abolished in Mod 2-N (1.00 ± 0.05), persisted in Mod 2 + Hypo (1.09 ± 0.07), and tended to increase in Mod 1 + Hypo (1.10 ± 0.09, P = 0.13). The present data do not support an "O(2) delivery-independent" speeding of τVo(2p) following Hvy (or Hvy + Hypo); rather, this study suggests that local muscle O(2) delivery likely governs the rate of adjustment of Vo(2) at τVo(2p) greater than ∼20 s.

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