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Am J Physiol. 1978 Nov;235(5):H505-15.

Role of oxygen in arteriolar functional vasodilation in hamster striated muscle.


Small isolated groups of striated muscle cells were stimulated in the hamster cremaster muscle. During and after stimulation, oxygen microelectrodes were employed to determine the relationships among arteriolar vasodilation, tissue Po2, and periarteriolar Po2. Localized contraction produced a biphasic arteriolar vasodilation without associated alteration of Po2 on the surface of the arterioles (vascular smooth muscle Po2). In contrast, muscle contraction produced a decline in muscle tissue Po2 that was proportional to the contraction frequency over the range of 1--4 contractions per second. An increase in contraction frequency also produced a graded increase in arteriolar diameter, the magnitude of which was statistically correlated with the steady-state change in tissue Po2. However, arteriolar diameter changes preceded tissue Po2 changes, both with the initiation of functional dilation and during the recovery period. Tissue Po2 was manipulated at rest and during contraction by increasing the Po2 of the superfusion solution. Increasing the tissue Po2 caused a decrease in vascular diameter under both conditions and a reduction in the magnitude of the arteriolar vasodilation during contraction. Restoration of tissue Po2 to resting levels during muscle contraction produced only partial restoration of vascular diameters. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that at least three components are involved in the vascular control process during muscular activity: an early component independent of tissue oxygen levels, a late component independent of oxygen, and a late component associated with a decrease in muscle Po2, without an effect on vascular smooth muscle Po2. The evidence indicated that Po2 of the smooth muscle of the arterioles had no role in the dilation observed.

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