Differences in exercise limb blood flow and muscle deoxygenation with age: contributions to O2 uptake kinetics

Gregory R duManoir, Darren S DeLorey, John M Kowalchuk, Donald H Paterson
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2010, 110 (4): 739-51
The adjustments of pulmonary oxygen uptake V O2p limb blood flow (LBF) and muscle deoxygenation (ΔHHb) were examined during transitions to moderate-intensity, knee-extension exercise in seven older (OA; 71 ± 7 year) and seven young (YA; 26 ± 3 year) men. YA and OA performed repeated step transitions from an active baseline (3 W; 100 g) to a similar relative intensity of ~80% estimated lactate threshold (θ(L)), and YA also performed the same absolute work rate as the OA (24 W, 800 g). Breath-by-breath V O2p femoral artery LBF (Doppler ultrasound) and muscle HHb (near-infrared spectroscopy) were measured. Phase 2V O2p LBF, and ΔHHb data were fit with a mono-exponential model. τ V O2p was greater in OA (58 ± 21 s) than YA(80%) (31 ± 9 s) and YA(24W) (29 ± 11 s). The increase in LBF per increase in V O2p was not different between groups (5.3-5.8 L min(-1)/L min(-1)); however, the τLBF was greater in OA (44 ± 19 s) than YA(24W) (18 ± 7 s). The overall adjustment in ΔHHb (τ'ΔHHb) was not different between OA and YA, but was faster than τ V O2p in OA. This faster τ'ΔHHb than τ V O2p resulted in an "overshoot" of the normalized ΔHHb/Δ V O2p response relative to the steady state level that was significantly greater in OA compared with YA suggesting that the adjustment of microvascular blood flow is slowed in OA thereby requiring a greater reliance on O(2) extraction during the transition to exercise.

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