Rechnitzer Lecture


Effects of Age and Exercise on Endothelial Function in Skeletal Muscle:  Role of Reactive Oxygen Species

Judy M. Muller-Delp, PhD

Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics
University of Florida

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dr. Judy Muller-Delp is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics at the University of Florida. Dr. Muller-Delp’s research, which is NIH-funded, examines aging, exercise and exercise training, and cardiovascular and micro- vascular control of blood flow. Dr. Muller-Delp has been an invited speaker in symposium sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine, Experimental Biology, World Congress for Microcirculation, Canadian Federation of Biological Sciences, and American Aging Association, and was an invited lecturer for American College of Sports Medicine Lecture Tour.

Abstract: Aging is associated with a decrease in muscle blood flow during exercise. Our research demonstrated age-induced impairments in endothelium-dependent dilation of resistance arterioles from skeletal locomotor muscle through alterations in nitric oxide (NO) signaling, which was restored with exercise training. Also our data indicate that the reduction of NO-mediated dilation is accompanied by an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) which function as signaling molecules contributing to compensatory vasodilation in skeletal muscle arterioles from aged animals.  Exercise training, while increasing production of ROS, also increases anti-oxidant enzymes which serve to restore vasodilatory function in older animals.  Thus, exercise training may stabilize vascular endothelial NO synthase function and may help maintain the balance between NO- and ROS-dependent vasodilation.

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Research Director

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