α1-Adrenergic responsiveness in human skeletal muscle feed arteries: The impact of reducing extracellular pH

Stephen J. Ives, Robert H.I. Andtbacka, R. Dirk Noyes, R. Garrett Morgan, Jayson R. Gifford, Song Young Park, J. David Symons, Russell S. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

New Findings: • What is the central question of this study? In human arteries involved in the regulation of muscle blood flow, there is a lack of data about whether acidosis alters vascular sensitivity to vasoactive agents, as well as altering endothelium dependent vasorelaxation. Little is known about the interaction of metabolites and vascular function in human skeletal muscle feed arteries. • What is the main finding and its importance? Increasing acidosis attenuated the response and sensitivity of the arteries to phenylephrine; this effect was selective to the receptor over smooth muscle. Acidosis did not alter endothelium dependent vasorelaxation. Impaired vasoconstriction coupled with intact vasorelaxation, promotes decreased vascular tone with exposure to acidosis, and may contribute to sympatholysis during exercise. Graded exercise results not only in the modulation of adrenergic mediated smooth muscle tone and a preferential increase in blood flow to the active skeletal muscle termed 'functional sympatholysis', but is also paralleled by metabolically induced reductions in pH. We therefore sought to determine whether pH attenuates α1-adrenergic receptor sensitivity in human feed arteries. Feed arteries (560 ± 31 μm i.d.) were harvested from 24 humans (55 ± 4 years old) and studied using the isometric tension technique. Vessel function was assessed using KCl, phenylephrine (PE), ACh and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) concentration-response curves to characterize non-receptor-mediated and receptor-mediated vasocontraction, as well as endothelium-dependent and -independent vasorelaxation, respectively. All concentration-response curves were obtained from (originally contiguous) vessel rings in separate baths with a pH of 7.4, 7.1, 6.8 or 6.5. Reduction of the pH, via HCl, reduced maximal PE-induced vasocontraction (pH 7.4 = 85 ± 19, pH 7.1 = 57 ± 16, pH 6.8 = 34 ± 15 and pH 6.5 = 16 ± 5% KClmax), which was partly due to reduced smooth muscle function, as assessed by KCl (pH 7.4 = 88 ± 13, pH 7.1 = 67 ± 8, pH 6.8 = 67 ± 9 and pH 6.5 = 58 ± 8% KClmax). Graded acidosis had no effect on maximal vasorelaxation. In summary, these data reveal that reductions in extracellular pH attenuate α1-mediated vasocontraction, which is partly explained by reduced smooth muscle function, although vasorelaxation in response to ACh and SNP remained intact. These findings support the concept that local acidosis is likely to contribute to functional sympatholysis and exercise hyperaemia by opposing sympathetically mediated vasoconstriction while not impacting vasodilatation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-267
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Physiology
Volume98
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)

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