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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 478965, 20 pages
Review Article

Neural Regulation of Cardiovascular Response to Exercise: Role of Central Command and Peripheral Afferents

1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, RJ, Brazil
2Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA
3Section of Exercise Physiology, Department of Physiology, Federal University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Sports Physiology laboratory Lab., Department of Medical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
5Heart Failure Unit, Cardiac Department, Guglielmo da Saliceto Polichirurgico Hospital, Piacenza, Italy

Received 25 October 2013; Accepted 4 February 2014; Published 9 April 2014

Academic Editor: Abel Romero-Corral

Copyright © 2014 Antonio C. L. Nobrega et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During dynamic exercise, mechanisms controlling the cardiovascular apparatus operate to provide adequate oxygen to fulfill metabolic demand of exercising muscles and to guarantee metabolic end-products washout. Moreover, arterial blood pressure is regulated to maintain adequate perfusion of the vital organs without excessive pressure variations. The autonomic nervous system adjustments are characterized by a parasympathetic withdrawal and a sympathetic activation. In this review, we briefly summarize neural reflexes operating during dynamic exercise. The main focus of the present review will be on the central command, the arterial baroreflex and chemoreflex, and the exercise pressure reflex. The regulation and integration of these reflexes operating during dynamic exercise and their possible role in the pathophysiology of some cardiovascular diseases are also discussed.