Short-term modulation of the exercise ventilatory response in older men

Helen E. Wood, Gordon S. Mitchell, Tony G. Babb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


During exercise with added dead space (DS), the exercise ventilatory response (ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO2) is augmented in younger men, via short-term modulation (STM) of the exercise ventilatory response. We hypothesized that STM would be diminished or absent in older men due to age-related changes in respiratory function and ventilatory control. Men were studied at rest and during cycle exercise with and without added DS. ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO2 increased progressively with increasing DS volume (p<0.01), such that CO2 was not retained with added DS versus without. Hence, the increase in ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO2 was not due to increased chemoreceptor feedback from rest to exercise. Increasing exercise intensity diminished the ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO2 (p<0.01), and the size of this effect varied by DS volume (p<0.05). We conclude that STM of the exercise ventilatory response is robust in older men; hence, despite age-related changes in lung function and ventilatory control, the exercise ventilatory response can still adapt to increased DS, in order to maintain isocapnia during exercise relative to rest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Aging
  • Exercise hyperpnea
  • Hypercapnia
  • Respiratory control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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