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Proc Nutr Soc. 1999 Nov;58(4):925-33.

Vasoactive substances in the interstitium of contracting skeletal muscle examined by microdialysis.

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  • 1Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, The August Krogh Institute, LHF, Denmark.


In the study of the regulation of skeletal muscle blood flow during exercise it is useful to obtain information regarding the concentrations of vasoactive substances in the muscle interstitium, a site where the compounds act on the vascular and skeletal muscle cells. The microdialysis technique is a useful tool for measuring interstitial substances in the muscle at rest and during exercise in human subjects, and the technique can also be used to study the effect of both systemic and local interventions in a specific area of an exercising muscle. Probe recovery, which represents the relative amount of a substance that is diffusing to the dialysis membrane, changes from rest to exercise and can be determined by the internal-standard technique which allows for a relatively high time resolution (min). Furthermore, the use of electrodes at the microdialysis outlet makes it possible to perform continuous measurements of interstitial substances. The present review gives examples of how the microdialysis technique has been applied to study potentially important vasodilators such as adenosine, NO and K+ in human skeletal muscles and highlights areas for future research to establish the functional importance of these compounds.

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