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Microvasc Res. 1997 Jul;54(1):49-57.

Vessels supplying septa and tendons as functional shunts in perfused rat hindlimb.

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Medical School, University of Tasmania, Hobart, 7001, Australia.


An assessment was made of the relationship between vasoconstrictor-mediated changes in metabolism and the apparent flow in putative nonnutritive vessels of muscle located on tendon. Surgically isolated rat hindlimbs were perfused at constant flow while monitoring perfusion pressure and venous pO2. In addition exposed tibial tendon vessels of the biceps femoris muscle of the perfused leg were positioned either under a surface fluorometer probe to monitor signal strength when pulses of fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran were infused or over the objective lens of an inverted microscope for photography when pulses of India ink were infused. Measurements were conducted under steady state with vehicle, norepinephrine, or serotonin infused. Norepinephrine increased perfusion pressure and oxygen uptake (VO2), but decreased fluorescence signal from the tendon vessels. Photomicroscopy confirmed that the vessels had generally decreased in diameter. Serotonin also increased perfusion pressure but decreased VO2 and increased fluorescence signal from the tendon vessels. Photomicroscopy confirmed that serotonin infusion had led to a marked increase in diameter of the vessels. It is concluded that a reciprocal relationship exists between resting muscle metabolism as controlled by vasoconstrictors and flow-through muscle tendon vessels.

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