Comparison of resistance and conduit vessel nitric oxide-mediated vascular function in vivo: effects of exercise training

Daniel Green, Jenny Walsh, A.J. Maiorana, Valerie Burke, R.R. Taylor, J.G. O'Driscoll

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Exercise training improves vascular function in subjects with cardiovascular disease and risk factors, but there is mounting evidence these vascular adaptations may be vessel bed specific. We have therefore examined the hypothesis that exercise-induced improvements in conduit vessel function are related to changes in resistance vessel function. Endothelium-dependent and -independent conduit vessel function were assessed by using wall-tracking of high-resolution brachial artery ultrasound images of the response to flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and nitroglycerine [glyceryl trinitrate (GTN)] administration. Resistance vessel endothelium-dependent and -independent function were assessed using intrabrachial administration of acetylcholine (ACh) and nitroprusside (SNP). Randomized crossover studies of 8-wk exercise training were undertaken in untreated hypercholesterolemic (n = 10), treated hypercholesterolemic (n = 10), coronary artery disease (n = 8), and Type 2 diabetic subjects (n = 15). Exercise training significantly enhanced responses to ACh (P < 0.05) and FMD (P < 0.0001). There were no significant changes in either SNP or GTN responses. The correlation between ACh and FMD responses at entry was not significant (r = 0.186; P = 0.231), and training-induced changes in the ACh did not correlate with those in FMD (r = -0.022; P = 0.890). Similarly, no correlation was evident between the SNP and GTN responses at entry (r = -0.010; P = 0.951) or between changes in these variables with training (r = -0.211; P = 0.191). We conclude that, although short-term exercise training improves endothelium-dependent nitric oxide-mediated vascular function in both conduit and resistance vessels, the magnitude of these improvements are unrelated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-755
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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