Acute ascorbate supplementation alone or combined with arginase inhibition augments reflex cutaneous vasodilation in aged human skin

Lacy A. Holowatz, Caitlin S. Thompson, W. Larry Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Full expression of reflex cutaneous vasodilation (VD) is dependent on nitric oxide (NO) and is attenuated in older humans. NO may be decreased by an age-related increase in reactive oxygen species or a decrease in L-arginine availability via upregulated arginase. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of acute antioxidant supplementation alone and combined with arginase inhibition on reflex VD in aged skin. Eleven young (Y; 22 ± 1 yr) and 10 older (O; 68 ± 1 yr) human subjects were instrumented with four intradermal microdialysis (MD) fibers. MD sites were control (Co), NO synthase inhibited (NOS-I), L-ascorbate supplemented (Asc), and Asc + arginase-inhibited (Asc + A-I). After baseline measurements, subjects underwent whole body heating to increase oral temperature (Tor) by 0.8°C. Red blood cell flux was measured by using laser-Doppler flowmetry, and cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) was calculated (CVC = flux/mean arterial pressure) and normalized to maximal (CVCmax). VD during heating was attenuated in O (Y: 37 ± 3 vs. O: 28 ± 3% CVCmax; P < 0.05). NOS-I decreased VD in both groups compared with Co (Y: 20 ± 4; O: 15 ± 2% CVCmax; P > 0.05 vs. Co within group). Asc and Asc + A-I increased VD beyond Co in O (Asc: 35 ± 4% CVCmax; Asc + A-I: 41 ± 3% CVCmax; P < 0.001) but not in Y (Asc: 36 ± 3% CVCmax; Asc + A-I: 40 ± 5% CVCmax; P > 0.05). Combined Asc + A-I resulted in a greater increase in VD than Asc alone in O (P = 0.001). Acute Asc supplementation increased reflex VD in aged skin. Asc combined with arginase inhibition resulted in a further increase in VD above Asc alone, effectively restoring CVC to the level of young subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2965-H2970
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume291
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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