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Physiol Rep. 2013 Jul;1(2):e00033. doi: 10.1002/phy2.33. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

Effect of H1- and H2-histamine receptor blockade on postexercise insulin sensitivity.

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Department of Human Physiology, University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon, 97403-1240.


Following a bout of dynamic exercise, humans experience sustained postexercise vasodilatation in the previously exercised skeletal muscle which is mediated by activation of histamine (H1 and H2) receptors. Skeletal muscle glucose uptake is also enhanced following dynamic exercise. Our aim was to determine if blunting the vasodilatation during recovery from exercise would have an adverse effect on blood glucose regulation. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that insulin sensitivity following exercise would be reduced with H1- and H2-receptor blockade versus control (no blockade). We studied 20 healthy young subjects (12 exercise; eight nonexercise sham) on randomized control and H1- and H2-receptor blockade (fexofenadine and ranitidine) days. Following 60 min of upright cycling at 60% VO2 peak or nonexercise sham, subjects consumed an oral glucose tolerance beverage (1.0 g/kg). Blood glucose was determined from "arterialized" blood samples (heated hand vein). Postexercise whole-body insulin sensitivity (Matsuda insulin sensitivity index) was reduced 25% with H1- and H2-receptor blockade (P < 0.05), whereas insulin sensitivity was not affected by histamine receptor blockade in the sham trials. These results indicate that insulin sensitivity following exercise is blunted by H1- and H2-receptor blockade and suggest that postexercise H1- and H2-receptor-mediated skeletal muscle vasodilatation benefits glucose regulation in healthy humans.


Glucose, supply and distribution; oral glucose tolerance test; postexercise hypotension; skeletal muscle hyperaemia

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