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Physical training under the influence of beta-blockade in rats. II: Effects on vascular reactivity

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Rats were treated by daily swimming or running exercises for 7 weeks. One group of rats was also trained under the influence of propranolol, while another group received daily propranolol injections only.

The rat groups trained without beta blockade maintained a higher tail skin temperature when exposed to 5‡ C after the 7-week training period. This phenomenon was not observable in the animals having received their training under the influence of beta-blockade. Both rat groups trained without beta-blockade showed increased vasodilatatory response to isoprenaline, as judged from a higher elevation of the tail skin temperature in response to the drug. This response was absent in the animal group having performed its training periods under the influence of propranolol. After the injection of phenylephrine the trained rats had a higher tail skin temperature than did the controls or propranolol-treated rats.

The present results suggest an elevated sensitivity of beta2-adrenoceptors and/or decreased sensitivity of alpha-adrenoceptors in trained rats. It is suggested that for the development of these changes repeated activation of the sympathetic nervous system by exercise periods is needed. That is why they are preventable if the training is performed under the influence of beta-blockade.

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Harri, M.N.E. Physical training under the influence of beta-blockade in rats. II: Effects on vascular reactivity. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 42, 151–157 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00431021

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Key words

  • Swimming training
  • Running training
  • Prolonged beta-blockade
  • Tail skin temperature
  • Vascular responses