Aerobic training and cutaneous vasodilation in young and older men

Carla M. Thomas, Jane M. Pierzga, W. Larry Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

To determine the effect and underlying mechanisms of exercise training and the influence of age on the skin blood flow (SkBF) response to exercise in a hot environment, 22 young (Y; 18-30 yr) and 21 older (O; 61-78 yr) men were assigned to 16 wk of aerobic (A; YA, n = 8; OA, n = 11), resistance (R; YR, n = 7; OR, n = 3), or no training (C; YC, n = 7; OC, n = 7). Before and after treatment, subjects exercised at 60% of maximum oxygen consumption (V̇o(2max)) on a cycle ergometer for 60 min at 36°C. Cutaneous vascular conductance, defined as SkBF divided by mean arterial pressure, was monitored at control (vasoconstriction intact) and bretylium-treated (vasoconstriction blocked) sites on the forearm using laser-Doppler flowmetry. Forearm vascular conductance was calculated as forearm blood flow (venous occlusion plethysmography) divided by mean arterial pressure. Esophageal and skin temperatures were recorded. Only aerobic training (functionally defined a priori as a 5% or greater increase in V̇O(2max)) produced a decrease in the mean body temperature threshold for increasing forearm vascular conductance (36.89 ± 0.08 to 36.63 ± 0.08°C, P < 0.003) and cutaneous vascular conductance (36.91 ± 0.08 to 36.65 ± 0.08°C, P < 0.004). Similar thresholds between control and bretylium-treated sites indicated that the decrease was mediated through the active vasodilator system. This shift was more pronounced in the older men who presented greater training-induced increases in V̇O(2max) than did the young men (22 and 9%, respectively). In summary, older men improved their SkBF response to exercise-heat stress through the effect of aerobic training on the cutaneous vasodilator system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1676-1686
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume86
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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