Local heating of the skin is commonly used to assess cutaneous microvasculature function. Controversy exists as to whether there are limb or sex differences in the nitric oxide (NO)-dependent contribution to this vasodilation, as well as the NO synthase (NOS) isoform mediating the responses. We tested the hypotheses that 1) NO-dependent vasodilation would be greater in the calf compared with the forearm; 2) total NO-dependent dilation would not be different between sexes within limb; and 3) women would exhibit greater neuronal NOS (nNOS)-dependent vasodilation in the calf. Two microdialysis fibers were placed in the skin of the ventral forearm and the calf of 19 (10 male and 9 female) young (23 ± 1 yr) adults for the local delivery of Ringer solution (control) or 5 mM N^-propyl-L-arginine (NPLA; nNOS inhibition). Vasodilation was induced by local heating (42°C) at each site, after which 20 mM NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME) was perfused for within-site assessment of NO-dependent vasodilation. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) was calculated as laser-Doppler flux/mean arterial pressure and normalized to maximum (28 mM sodium nitroprus-side, 43°C). Total NO-dependent vasodilation in the calf was lower compared with the forearm in both sexes (Ringer: 42 ± 5 vs. 62 ± 4%; P < 0.05; NPLA: 37 ± 3 vs. 59 ± 5%; P < 0.05) and total NO-dependent vasodilation was lower in the forearm for women (Ringer: 52 ± 6 vs. 71 ± 4%; P < 0.05; NPLA: 47 ± 6 vs. 68 ± 5%; P < 0.05). NPLA did not affect total or NO-dependent vasodilation across limbs in either sex (P > 0.05). These data suggest that the NO-dependent component of local heating-induced cutaneous vasodilation is lower in the calf compared with the forearm. Contrary to our original hypothesis, there was no contribution of nNOS to NO-dependent vasodilation in either limb during local heating.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|State||Published - Oct 1 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)