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Microcirculation. 2002 Apr;9(2):91-7.

Decreased arteriolar sensitivity to shear stress in adult rats is reversed by chronic exercise activity.

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Department of Physiology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.



We tested the hypothesis that the decline in endothelium-dependent arteriolar dilation in adult rats is reversed by chronic exercise activity.


Rats were divided into young (8-10 weeks)-sedentary (SED(Y)), adult (29-32 weeks)-sedentary (SED(A)), and adult-exercised (EX(A), treadmill exercise for 18-20 weeks) groups. Responses of isolated arterioles ( approximately 50 microm at 80 mm Hg) of gracilis muscle were assessed to increases in perfusate flow and vasoactive agents.


With no differences in basal tone, maximal flow-induced dilations were not different between arterioles of SED(Y) and SED(A) rats (71 +/- 2 and 72 +/- 2% of passive diameter, respectively), yet the sensitivity of arterioles to shear stress (WSS(50)) was significantly less in SED(A) than in SED(Y) rats (35 +/- 4 vs. 23 +/- 3 dyne/cm(2), respectively). In vessels of EX(A) rats, maximal flow-induced dilation was significantly augmented (88 +/- 2% of passive diameter) and WSS(50) (15 +/- 1 dyn/cm(2)) was significantly reduced. Dilation to acetylcholine was enhanced in arterioles of EX(A), whereas dilation to sodium nitroprusside was not different in vessels of the three groups.


Chronic exercise activity reverses age related reduction in sensitivity of arterioles to increases in wall shear stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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