Domains of Aerobic Function and Their Limiting Parameters

  • Brian J. Whipp


Aerobic energy transfer during muscular exercise requires that hydrogen atoms be “stripped” out of previously stored substrate molecules, and their component proton and electrons put to work to generate ATP in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. The electron flow is used to supply the redox potential necessary to establish the transmembrane proton gradients which subsequently power the phosphorylation. These reactions require oxygen as the terminal electron transport chain oxidant. Consequently, the ability to sustain muscular exercise is dependent in large part on the body’s ability to transport oxygen from the atmosphere to the cytochrome oxidase terminus of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. The time course of pulmonary O2 uptake (̇VO2) at high work rates should therefore be considered a major index of systemic O2 transport function. It is perhaps surprising, therefore, how little attention has been paid to the physiological control inferences which may be drawn from the nonsteady-state response profiles of ̇VO2. Such determinations are likely to be revealing, as the bulk of the control information regarding a physiological system resides in its transient rather than its steady-state behavior.


Work Rate Critical Power Lactate Threshold Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain Muscle Blood Flow 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian J. Whipp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologySt. George’s Hospital Medical School LondonUK

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