Control of the Peripheral Vasculature During Exercise: Angiotensin II




Brothers, Robert Matthew


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Brothers, Robert Matthew, Control of the Peripheral Vasculature During Exercise Angiotesin II. Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Science), April 2007, 126 pp; 3 tables; 12 figures; bibliography. Control of the vasculature during exercise is balance between sympathetic vasoconstriction and metabolic vasodilation. There is an exercise intensity dependent reduction in vasoconstriction resulting in a shift towards vasodilation within “metabolically active” muscle and tissues, a phenomena known as “functional sympatholysis”. Previous studies investigating the alpha-receptors during exercise have used intra-arterial infusions of alpha-agonists. These studies indicate that alpha-receptor vasoconstrictionis completely attenuated during mild intensity exercise. When the alpha receptors are pharmacologically blocked the magnitude and onset of “functional sympatholysis” is not as drastic when compared to the agonist infusion studies. Intense exercise also activates the renin-angiotesin-system leading to production of angiotensin II (AngII), which increases exponentially at approximately 55% maximal oxygen uptake (55% VO2max). While the mechanisms of “functional sympatholysis” has been extensively studied less is known about the role of AngII in the control of the vasculature during exercise. Therefore, the purpose of the investigations within this dissertation was to: i)determine if alpha-1- blockade in an exercising human model will identify a greater maintenance of alpha-1 mediated vasoconstriction when compared to agonist infusion studies; ii) to determine if the metabolites produced within the active skeletal muscle will attenuate angiotensin II vasoconstriction; and iii) to determine if AngII vasoconstriction provides a greater percentage contribution to vascular tone as exercise intensity increases. We demonstrated that i) pharmacologic alpha-1-blockade identified a greater maintenance of alpha-1 vasoconstriction during moderately heavy exercise; and ii) this effect decreased as intensity increased in the exercising leg and increased with intensity in the non-exercising leg. In the second investigation we demonstrated that AngII and phenylephrine (PE) mediated vasoconstriction were attenuated to a similar degree during low and mild intensity exercise. In the third investigation we observed that AT1-receptor blockade; 1) attenuated the increases in MAP that occur during high-intensity exercise; ii) did not affect the vasculature in the exercising leg but; iii) we identified that AngII does partially control the vasculature in a “non-metabolically active” muscle group.