Effects of infused epinephrine on slow phase of O2 uptake kinetics during heavy exercise in humans

G. A. Gaesser, S. A. Ward, V. C. Baum, B. J. Whipp

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64 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that infused epinephrine (Epi) would augment the slow phase of oxygen uptake (V̇O2) during heavy exercise. Six normal healthy males initially performed a ramp test on a cycle ergometer to estimate the lactate threshold (LT) and determine peak V̇O2. Each subject then performed two 20-min constant-load tests at a power output calculated to elicit a V̇O2 equal to estimated LT + 0.2(peak V̇O2 - estimated LT) under control conditions throughout and with an intravenous infusion of Epi from minutes 10 to 20 at a rate of 100 ng · kg-1 · min-1. Pulmonary gas exchange variables were determined breath by breath. Arterialized venous blood was repeatedly sampled from the dorsum of the heated hand. Epi infusion elevated (P < 0.05) plasma Epi concentration (i.e., from 420 ± 130 pg/ml at minute 10 to 2,190 ± 410 pg/ml at minute 20) but had no effect on plasma norepinephrine or K+ concentrations. Concentrations of blood lactate and pyruvate were increased, pH was decreased, and base excess became more negative by infusion of Epi (P < 0.05). Epi infusion increased (P < 0.05) CO2 production and the respiratory exchange ratio but had no effect on ventilation or V̇O2. V̇O2 increased (P < 0.05) to the same extent in both control (3.14 ± 0.12 l/min at minute 10, 3.28 ± 0.12 l/min at minute 20) and Epi infusion (3.10 ± 0.11 l/min at minute 10, 3.25 ± 0.11 l/min at minute 20) trials. We therefore conclude that neither Epi nor its associated humoral consequences contribute significantly to the slow phase of V̇O2 kinetics during heavy exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2413-2419
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • catecholamines
  • lactate
  • pulmonary gas exchange
  • ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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