European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 108, Issue 6, pp 1201–1208 | Cite as

Skin microvascular reactivity in trained adolescents

  • Denise M. RocheEmail author
  • T. W. Rowland
  • M. Garrard
  • S. Marwood
  • V. B. Unnithan
Original Article


Whilst endothelial dysfunction is associated with a sedentary lifestyle, enhanced endothelial function has been documented in the skin of trained individuals. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether highly trained adolescent males possess enhanced skin microvascular endothelial function compared to their untrained peers. Seventeen highly and predominantly soccer trained boys (\( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{2\,{\text{peak}}}} \): 55 ± 6 mL kg−1 min−1) and nine age- and maturation-matched untrained controls (\( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{2\,{\text{peak}}}} \): 43 ± 5 mL kg−1 min−1) aged 13–15 years had skin microvascular endothelial function assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry. Baseline and maximal thermally stimulated skin blood flow (SkBF) responses were higher in forearms of trained subjects compared to untrained participants [baseline SkBF: 11 ± 4 vs. 9 ± 3 perfusion units (PU), p < 0.05; SkBFmax: 282 ± 120 vs. 204 ± 68 PU, p < 0.05]. Similarly, cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) during local heating was superior in the forearm skin of trained versus untrained individuals (CVCmax: 3 ± 1 vs. 2 ± 1 PU mmHg−1, p < 0.05). Peak hyperaemia following arterial occlusion and area under the reactive hyperaemia curve were also greater in forearm skin of the trained group (peak hyperaemia: 51 ± 21 vs. 35 ± 15 PU, p < 0.05; area under curve: 1596 ± 739 vs. 962 ± 796 PUs, p < 0.05). These results suggest that chronic exercise training in adolescents is associated with enhanced microvascular endothelial vasodilation in non-glabrous skin.


Endothelium Post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia Cutaneous vascular conductance Skin blood flow Exercise training Adolescents 



The authors wish to thank Mr Philip Basham of Perimed UK Ltd. for his assistance with the project.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denise M. Roche
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • T. W. Rowland
    • 2
  • M. Garrard
    • 1
  • S. Marwood
    • 1
  • V. B. Unnithan
    • 1
  1. 1.Sport and Exercise Physiology Research TeamLiverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Baystate Medical CenterSpringfieldUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health and Applied Social SciencesLiverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolUK

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