During heat stress, blunted increases in skin sympathetic nervous system activity (SSNA) and reductions in end-organ vascular responsiveness contribute to the age-related reduction in reflex cutaneous vasodilation. In older adults, folic acid supplementation improves the cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) response to passive heating; however, the influence of folic acid supplementation on SSNA:CVC transduction is unknown. Fourteen older adults (66 ± 1 yr, 8 male/6 female) ingested folic acid (5 mg/day) or placebo for 6 wk in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. In protocol 1, esophageal temperature (Tes) was increased by 1.0°C (water-perfused suit) while SSNA (peroneal microneurography) and red cell flux in the innervated dermatome (laser Doppler flowmetry; dorsum of the foot) were continuously measured. In protocol 2, two intradermal microdialysis fibers were placed in the skin of the lateral calf for graded infusions of acetylcholine (ACh; 10-10 to 10-1 M) with and without nitric oxide synthase (NOS) blockade (20 mM nitro-L-arginine methyl ester). Folic acid improved reflex vasodilation (46 ± 4% vs. 31 ± 3% CVCmax for placebo; P - 0.001) without affecting the increase in SSNA (±506 ± 104% vs. ±415 ± 73% for placebo; NS). Folic acid increased the slope of the SSNA-to-CVC relation (0.08 ± 0.02 vs. 0.05 ± 0.01 for placebo; P - 0.05) and extended the response range. Folic acid augmented AChinduced vasodilation (83 ± 3% vs. 66 ± 4% CVCmax for placebo; P < 0.002); however, there was no difference between treatments at the NOS-inhibited site (53 ± 4% vs. 52 ± 4% CVCmax for placebo; NS). These data demonstrate that folic acid supplementation enhances reflex vasodilation by increasing the sensitivity of skin arterioles to central sympathetic nerve outflow during hyperthermia in aged human subjects.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|State||Published - May 2017|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)