The effects of aging on capillary hemodynamics in contracting rat spinotrapezius muscle

by Copp, Steven W.

Abstract (Summary)
Advancing age alters the structural and functional determinants of convective and diffusive muscle oxygen (O[subscript]2) flux. However, capillary red blood cell (RBC) hemodynamics have not been investigated during contractions in muscles of old animals. PURPOSE: To test the hypothesis that aging induces significant alterations in capillary hemodynamics during electrically-induced contractions in the spinotrapezius muscle of old Fischer 344 x Brown Norway rats when compared to younger counterparts. METHODS: The spinotrapezius muscle was observed via intravital microscopy in 8 old (O: 26-30 months) and 5 young (Y: 6-8 months) animals. Wire electrodes elicited 1 Hz (6-8 volts) contractions for 3 minutes. RBC flux (FRBC), velocity (VRBC), capillary hematocrit (HCAP), and total microvascular O[subscript]2 delivery (QO[subscript]2m) were measured both at rest and during the steady-state of muscle contractions. RESULTS: At rest F[subscript]RBC and V[subscript]RBC were elevated in O compared to Y rats, while there was no difference in HCAP or QO[subscript]2m between groups. During the contracting steady-state, [Delta]F[subscript]RBC (Y: 28.8 [plus or minus] 7.7, O: -2.9 [plus or minus] 1.4 cells/s), [Delta]V[subscript]RBC (Y: 253 [plus or minus] 68, O: -4 [plus or minus] 15 [Mu]m/s), [Delta]H[subscript]CAP (Y: 0.02 [plus or minus] 0.02, O: -0.03 [plus or minus] 0.01 cells/[Mu]m), and [Delta]QO[subscript]2m (Y: 892 [plus or minus] 255, O: -24 [plus or minus] 30 cells/s/mm) cells/s/mm were all lower (P < 0.05) in O compared to Y rats. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that despite maintained total convective and diffusive O[subscript]2 transport at rest, advancing age results in significant alterations in capillary hemodynamics during electrically-induced contractions. These alterations likely contribute to the mechanisms responsible for the reduced exercise capacity commonly found in elderly populations.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Kansas State University

School Location:USA - Kansas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:muscle aging microcirculation exercise biology animal physiology 0433 veterinary science 0778


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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