Superior skin microvascular vasodilator function in trained versus untrained male adolescents

Denise Roche, Thomas Rowland, Max Garrard, Simon Marwood, Viswanath B. Unnithan

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


In youth, remedial benefits of exercise training on conduit vessel endothelium-dependent vasodilator function have recently been documented, however it remains to be established whether exercise training also impacts on endothelium-dependent vasodilator function at the microvascular level in youth who are free from chronic disease.

PURPOSE: To determine whether a group of trained youth have superior skin microvascular endothelium-dependent vasodilator function compared to untrained healthy controls.

METHODS: Forearm skin blood flow (SkBF) was assessed in 17 trained (14.6 ± 0.2 yrs, VO2peak: 54.9 ± 1.5, Self-assessed Tanner stage 2 - 4) and 9 untrained (15.6 ± 0.2 yrs, VO2peak: 43.1 ± 1.7, Tanner stage 2 - 4) male adolescents using laser Doppler flowmetry at baseline (basal SkBF) and following physiological provocation. Endothelium-dependent vasodilator function of the skin microcirculation was assessed physiologically through local heating to 44°C for 30 minutes (maximal SkBF) and post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia (PORH), which involved SkBF assessment following 3 minutes of arterial occlusion. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) (SkBF/MAP) was calculated at baseline and at maximal thermal flux.

RESULTS: Maximal SkBF was significantly higher in trained versus untrained youth (Trained: 281.7 ± 29.2 vs Untrained: 204.2 ± 22.6 PU, p=0.04). Maximal flux during PORH was also significantly higher in trained compared to untrained youth (Trained: 50.4 ± 5.2 vs Untrained: 35.2 ± 5.0 PU, p=0.04). Trained youth also demonstrated significantly greater basal SkBF and basal CVC (basal SkBF Trained: 11.2 ± 0.9 vs Untrained: 8.6 ± 1.0 PU, p=0.03; basal CVC Trained: 0.12 ± 0.01 vs Untrained 0.08 ± 0.01 PU/mmHg, p=0.04) and possessed superior maximal CVC (Trained: 3.00 ± 0.34 vs 2.02 ± 0.23 PU/mmHg, p=0.03) compared to their untrained counterparts.

CONCLUSION: Skin microvascular endothelium-dependent vasodilator function is significantly enhanced in healthy, trained male adolescents. This may have implications for the prevention of endothelial dysfunction with aging and chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-64
Number of pages1
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


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