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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Mar;98(3):866-71. Epub 2004 Nov 12.

Previous exercise attenuates muscle sympathetic activity and increases blood flow during acute euglycemic hyperinsulinemia.

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Exercise Hemodynamic Laboratory, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


Insulin infusion causes muscle vasodilation, despite the increase in sympathetic nerve activity. In contrast, a single bout of exercise decreases sympathetic activity and increases muscle blood flow during the postexercise period. We tested the hypothesis that muscle sympathetic activity would be lower and muscle vasodilation would be higher during hyperinsulinemia performed after a single bout of dynamic exercise. Twenty-one healthy young men randomly underwent two hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps performed after 45 min of seated rest (control) or bicycle exercise (50% of peak oxygen uptake). Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA, microneurography), forearm blood flow (FBF, plethysmography), blood pressure (BP, oscillometric method), and heart rate (HR, ECG) were measured at baseline (90 min after exercise or seated rest) and during hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps. Baseline glucose and insulin concentrations were similar in the exercise and control sessions. Insulin sensitivity was unchanged by previous exercise. During the clamp, insulin levels increased similarly in both sessions. As expected, insulin infusion increased MSNA, FBF, BP, and HR in both sessions (23 +/- 1 vs. 36 +/- 2 bursts/min, 1.8 +/- 0.1 vs. 2.2 +/- 0.2 ml.min(-1).100 ml(-1), 89 +/- 2 vs. 92 +/- 2 mmHg, and 58 +/- 1 vs. 62 +/- 1 beats/min, respectively, P < 0.05). BP and HR were similar between sessions. However, MSNA was significantly lower (27 +/- 2 vs. 31 +/- 2 bursts/min), and FBF was significantly higher (2.2 +/- 0.2 vs. 1.8 +/- 0.1 ml.min(-1).100 ml(-1), P < 0.05) in the exercise session compared with the control session. In conclusion, in healthy men, a prolonged bout of dynamic exercise decreases MSNA and increases FBF. These effects persist during acute hyperinsulinemia performed after exercise.

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