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Am J Physiol. 1993 Jul;265(1 Pt 2):H171-5.

Contribution of prostaglandins to exercise-induced vasodilation in humans.

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  • 1Cardiology Division, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia.


It has been postulated that endothelial release of prostaglandins contributes to exercise-induced vasodilation of skeletal muscle arterioles. To test this hypothesis, 12 normal subjects underwent brachial arterial and venous catheter insertion and instrumentation of their forearm to measure plethysmographic forearm blood flow. Forearm blood flow and arterial and venous 6-ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha (PGF1 alpha) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were then measured during two levels of wrist flexion exercise (0.2 and 0.4 W). In nine of the subjects, exercise was repeated after intra-arterial infusion of indomethacin (0.3 mg/100 ml forearm vol). Exercise increased forearm blood flow (2.0 +/- 0.2 to 12.1 +/- 1.1 ml.min-1.100 ml-1) and forearm release of PGF1 alpha (162 +/- 28 to 766 +/- 193 pg.min-1.100 ml-1) and PGE2 (26 +/- 6 to 125 +/- 46 pg.min-1.100 ml-1) (all P < 0.05). Indomethacin virtually abolished forearm prostaglandin release and reduced forearm blood flow at rest (2.2 +/- 0.2 to 1.7 +/- 0.2 ml.min-1.100 ml-1), at 0.2 W (6.3 +/- 0.7 to 5.4 +/- 0.7 ml.min-1.100 ml-1), and at 0.4 W (12.2 +/- 1.5 to 10.3 +/- 1.3 ml.min-1.100 ml-1) (all P < 0.02). These data suggest that release of vasodilatory prostaglandins contributes to exercise-induced arteriolar vasodilation and hyperemia in skeletal muscle.

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