The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of unilateral lower limb suspension (ULLS) deconditioning on oxygen uptake kinetics. Eight healthy males underwent ULLS for 20 days and performed a series of 6-min square-wave transitions from rest to 60-W single-leg cycling exercises just before and after ULLS. To characterize the kinetics of the oxygen uptake response, a single exponential model was applied to the data until the end of the fast component omitted the first 15 s of the on-transit using a nonlinear least-squares fitting procedure. The following results were found: (i) the time constant of oxygen uptake was unchanged before and after ULLS; (ii) although there was no significant difference in the baseline and the asymptotic amplitude of the fast component, the asymptote, i.e., the absolute asymptotic amplitude of the fast component (the sum of the baseline and the asymptotic amplitude), and the end exercise oxygen uptake were decreased after ULLS; (iii) the contribution of the slow component to the total response of oxygen uptake was unchanged at pre- and post-ULLS. In conclusion, the asymptote in the fast component and the end exercise oxygen uptake were decreased after 20-d ULLS, though the response speed and the amplitude of the slow component of oxygen uptake were not changed. It is suggested that deconditioning as a result of limb disuse affects oxygen uptake response.
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