Localised cutaneous microvascular adaptation to exercise training in humans

Ceri L. Atkinson, Howard H. Carter, Dick H.J. Thijssen, Gurpreet K. Birk, N. Timothy Cable, David A. Low, Floortje Kerstens, Iris Meeuwis, Ellen A. Dawson, Daniel J. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: Exercise training induces adaptation in conduit and resistance arteries in humans, partly as a consequence of repeated elevation in blood flow and shear stress. The stimuli associated with intrinsic cutaneous microvascular adaptation to exercise training have been less comprehensively studied. Methods: We studied 14 subjects who completed 8-weeks cycle ergometer training, with partial cuff inflation on one forearm to unilaterally attenuate cutaneous blood flow responses during each exercise-training bout. Before and after training, bilateral forearm skin microvascular dilation was determined using cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC: skin flux/blood pressure) responses to gradual localised heater disk stimulation performed at rest (33, 40, 42 and 44 °C). Results: Cycle exercise induced significant increases in forearm cutaneous flux and temperature, which were attenuated in the cuffed arm (2-way ANOVA interaction-effect; P < 0.01). We found that forearm CVC at 42 and 44 °C was significantly lower in the uncuffed arm following 8-weeks of cycle training (P < 0.01), whereas no changes were apparent in the contralateral cuffed arm (P = 0.77, interaction-effect P = 0.01). Conclusions: Lower limb exercise training in healthy young men leads to lower CVC-responses to a local heating stimulus, an adaptation mediated, at least partly, by a mechanism related to episodic increases in skin blood flow and/or skin temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-845
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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