Partial neuromuscular blockade in humans enhances muscle blood flow during exercise independently of muscle oxygen uptake and acetylcholine receptor blockade

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This study examined the role of acetylcholine for skeletal muscle blood flow during exercise by use of the competitive neuromuscular blocking agent cisatracurium in combination with the acetylcholine receptor blocker glycopyrrone. Nine healthy male subjects performed a 10-min bout of one-legged knee-extensor exercise (18W) during control conditions and with cisatracurium blockade, as well as with cisatracurium blockade with prior glycopyrrone infusion. Thigh blood flow and vascular conductance in control and with cisatracurium infusion were similar at rest and during passive movement of the leg, but higher (p<0.05) during exercise with cisatracurium than in control (3.83+/-0.42 vs. 2.78+/-0.21 L min(-1) and 26.9+/-3.4 vs. 21.8+/-2.0 ml min(-1) mmHg(-1) at the end of exercise). Thigh oxygen uptake was similar in control and with cisatracurium infusion both at rest and during exercise, being 354+/-33 and 406+/-34 ml min(-1), at the end of exercise. Combined infusion of cisatracurium and glycopyrron caused a similar increase in blood flow as cisatracurium infusion alone. The current results demonstrate that neuromuscular blockade leads to enhanced thigh blood flow and vascular conductance during exercise, events that are not associated with either acetylcholine or an increased oxygen demand. The results do not support an essential role for acetylcholine, released form the neuromuscular junction, in exercise hyperaemia or for the enhanced blood flow during neuromuscular blockade. The enhanced exercise hyperemia during partial neuromuscular blockade may be related to a greater recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibres. Key words: blood flow, neuromuscular blockade, exercise, skeletal muscle.
TidsskriftAmerican Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)1106-1112
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2009

Bibliografisk note

CURIS 2009 5200 012

ID: 11575102