Reduced skeletal-muscle perfusion and impaired ATP release during hypoxia and exercise in individuals with type 2 diabetes

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Aims/Hypothesis: Plasma ATP is a potent vasodilator and is thought to play a role in the local regulation of blood flow. Type 2 diabetes is associated with reduced tissue perfusion. We aimed to examine whether individuals with type 2 diabetes have reduced plasma ATP concentrations compared with healthy control participants (case-control design).

Methods: We measured femoral arterial and venous plasma ATP levels with the intravascular microdialysis technique during normoxia, hypoxia and one-legged knee-extensor exercise (10 W and 30 W) in nine participants with type 2 diabetes and eight control participants. In addition, we infused acetylcholine (ACh), sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and ATP into the femoral artery to assess vascular function and ATP signalling.

Results: Individuals with type 2 diabetes had a lower leg blood flow (LBF; 2.9 ± 0.1 l/min) compared with the control participants (3.2 ± 0.1 l/min) during exercise (p < 0.05), in parallel with lower venous plasma ATP concentration (205 ± 35 vs 431 ± 72 nmol/l; p < 0.05). During systemic hypoxia, LBF increased from 0.35 ± 0.04 to 0.54 ± 0.06 l/min in control individuals, whereas it did not increase (0.25 ± 0.04 vs 0.31 ± 0.03 l/min) in the those with type 2 diabetes and was lower than in the control individuals (p < 0.05). Hypoxia increased venous plasma ATP levels in both groups (p < 0.05), but the increase was higher in control individuals (90 ± 26 nmol/l) compared to those with type 2 diabetes (18 ± 5 nmol/l). LBF and vascular conductance were lower during ATP (0.15 and 0.4 μmol min-1 [kg leg mass]-1) and ACh (100 μg min-1 [kg leg mass]-1) infusion in individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with the control participants (p < 0.05), whereas there was no difference during SNP infusion.

Conclusions/Interpretation: These findings demonstrate that individuals with type 2 diabetes have lower plasma ATP concentrations during exercise and hypoxia compared with control individuals, and this occurs in parallel with lower blood flow. Moreover, individuals with type 2 diabetes have a reduced vasodilatory response to infused ATP. These impairments in the ATP system are both likely to contribute to the reduced tissue perfusion associated with type 2 diabetes.

Trial regristration: NCT02001766.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Exercise, Human, Metabolic physiology in vivo, Microvascular disease

ID: 210971424