Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2012 - Volume 44 - Issue 11 > Blood Flow Restriction Enhances Post–Resistance Exercise Ang...
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182625928
Basic Sciences

Blood Flow Restriction Enhances Post–Resistance Exercise Angiogenic Gene Expression

LARKIN, KELLY A.1,2; MACNEIL, R. GAVIN1,2; DIRAIN, MARVIN1; SANDESARA, BHANUPRESAD1; MANINI, TODD M.1,2; BUFORD, THOMAS W.1,2

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Abstract

Purpose: The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of blood flow restriction (BFR) on muscle oxygenation during low-intensity resistance exercise as well as postexercise expression of molecules related to physiological angiogenesis.

Methods: Using a randomized cross-over design, six apparently healthy young adults (22 ± 1 yr) performed 120 unilateral knee extensions at 40% of 1 repetition maximum with and without BFR (CNTRL). Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure oxygenation of the vastus lateralis during exercise. Serum and muscle expression of Post–Resistance vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were determined preexercise, 4 h postexercise, and 24 h postexercise. Transcript (mRNA) expression of VEGF and other angiogenic genes was also determined.

Results: BFR increased muscle hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations during exercise (14.4 ± 1.6 vs. 0.9 ± 1.6, P = 0.002), driven largely by an increase in deoxygenated Hb (11.0 ± 2.5 vs. 0.5 ± 1.1, P = 0.030). BFR also increased (P < 0.05) transcript expression of VEGF, VEGF-R2, hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha, inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS), and neuronal NOS. The most dramatic change in response to BFR was an increase in VEGF mRNA at 4 h postexercise (4.1 ± 0.6 vs. 0.6 ± 0.2-fold change, P = 0.028). Compared with control, transcript expression of endothelial NOS, serum VEGF, or muscle protein expression of VEGF was not altered in response to BFR (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Acute BFR increases postexercise expression of mRNA related to skeletal muscle angiogenesis, plausibly in response to changes in muscle Hb concentrations.

©2012The American College of Sports Medicine

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