Adenosine receptor antagonist and augmented vasodilation during hypoxic exercise

Darren P. Casey, Brandon D. Madery, Tasha L. Pike, John H. Eisenach, Niki M. Dietz, Michael J. Joyner, Brad W. Wilkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that adenosine contributes to augmented skeletal muscle vasodilation during hypoxic exercise. In separate protocols, subjects performed incremental rhythmic forearm exercise (10% and 20% of maximum) during normoxia and normocapnic hypoxia (80% arterial O2 saturation). In protocol 1 (n = 8), subjects received an intra-arterial administration of saline (control) and aminophylline (adenosine receptor antagonist). In protocol 2 (n = 10), subjects received intra-arterial phentolamine (α-adrenoceptor antagonist) and combined phentolamine and aminophylline administration. Forearm vascular conductance (FVC; in ml·min-1·100 mmHg -1) was calculated from forearm blood flow (in ml/min) and blood pressure (in mmHg). In protocol 1, the change in FVC (ΔFVC; change from normoxic baseline) during hypoxic exercise with saline was 172 ± 29 and 314 ± 34 ml·min-1·100 mmHg-1 (10% and 20%, respectively). Aminophylline administration did not affect ΔFVC during hypoxic exercise at 10% (190 ± 29 ml·min -1·100 mmHg-1, P = 0.4) or 20% (287 ± 48 ml·min-1·100 mmHg-1, P = 0.3). In protocol 2, ΔFVC due to hypoxic exercise with phentolamine infusion was 313 ± 30 and 453 ± 41 ml·min-1·100 mmHg -1 (10% and 20% respectively). ΔFVC was similar at 10% (352 ± 39 ml·min-1·100 mmHg-1, P = 0.8) and 20% (528 ± 45 ml·min-1·100 mmHg -1, P = 0.2) hypoxic exercise with combined phentolamine and aminophylline. In contrast, ΔFVC to exogenous adenosine was reduced by aminophylline administration in both protocols (P > 0.05 for both). These observations suggest that adenosine receptor activation is not obligatory for the augmented hyperemia during hypoxic exercise in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1137
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Aminophylline
  • Muscle blood flow
  • Systemic hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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