Our previous studies showed that venous occlusion or passive stretch of the lower limb, assuming a mechanical stimulus, attenuates the vasoconstriction in the non-exercised forearm during postexercise muscle ischaemia (PEMI) of the upper limb. In this study, we investigated whether a metabolic stimulus to the lower limb induces a similar response. Eight subjects performed a 2 min static handgrip exercise at 30% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) followed by 3 min PEMI of the upper limb, concomitant with or without 2 min static ankle dorsiflexion at 30% MVC followed by 2 min PEMI of the lower limb. During PEMI of the upper limb alone, forearm blood flow (FBF) and forearm vascular conductance (FVC) in the non-exercised arm decreased significantly, whereas during combined PEMI of the upper and lower limbs, the decreases in FBF and FVC produced by PEMI of the upper limb was attenuated. Forearm blood flow and FVC were significantly greater during combined PEMI of the upper and lower limbs than during PEMI of the upper limb alone. When PEMI of the lower limb was released after combined PEMI of the upper and lower limbs (only PEMI of the upper limb was maintained continuously), the attenuated decreases in FBF and FVC observed during combined PEMI of the upper and lower limbs was not observed. Thus, forearm vascular responses differ when muscle metaboreceptors are activated in the upper limb and when there is combined activation of muscle metaboreceptors in both the upper and lower limbs.
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