Acute heat exposure improves microvascular function in skeletal muscle of aged adults

Rauchelle E. Richey, Holden W. Hemingway, Amy M. Moore, Albert H. Olivencia-Yurvati, Steven A. Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Acute heat exposure improves microvascular function in aged adults as assessed using reactive hyperemia. The cutaneous and skeletal muscle microcirculations are thought to contribute to this response, but this has never been confirmed due to the methodological challenges associated with differentiating blood flow between these vascular beds. We hypothesized that acute hot water immersion would improve endothelial-dependent, but not endothelial-independent vasodilation in the microcirculation of the vastus lateralis muscle in healthy aged adults. Participants (70 ± 5 yr) were immersed for 60 min in thermoneutral (36°C) or hot (40°C) water. Ninety minutes following immersion, skeletal muscle microdialysis was used to bypass the cutaneous circulation and directly assess endothelial-dependent and endothelial-independent vasodilation by measuring the local hyperemic response to graded infusions of acetylcholine (ACh, 27.5 and 55.0 mM) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 21 and 42 mM), respectively. The hyperemic response to 27.5 mM ACh did not differ between thermal conditions (P = 0.9). However, the hyperemic response to 55.0 mM ACh was increased with prior hot water immersion (thermoneutral immersion, 43.9 ± 23.2 mL/min/100 g vs. hot water immersion, 66.5 ± 25.5 mL/min/100 g; P < 0.01). Similarly, the hyperemic response to 21 mM SNP did not differ between thermal conditions (P = 0.3) but was increased following hot water immersion with the infusion of 42 mM SNP (thermoneutral immersion, 48.8 ± 25.6 mL/min/100 g vs. hot water immersion, 90.7 ± 53.5 mL/min/100 g; P < 0.01). These data suggest that acute heat exposure improves microvascular function in skeletal muscle of aged humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H386-H393
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume322
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Heat exposure
  • Microdialysis
  • Microvascular function
  • Skeletal muscle

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