A small, but positive, association between aerobic training status or prior maximal exercise and enhanced dorsal foot skin perfusion in active individuals with Type 2 diabetes has been shown. This study, therefore, was designed to examine whether an aerobic training intervention would positively affect cutaneous perfusion in sedentary Type 2 diabetic individuals as well. Nine sedentary participants with Type 2 diabetes (DS) and 10 obese nondiabetic controls (CS) were studied. Prior to the initiation of aerobic training, dorsal foot cutaneous perfusion was measured noninvasively by continuous laser Doppler assessment at baseline and during localized heating to 44 degrees C. These measurements were repeated 48-72 h following 10 weeks of moderate aerobic training performed 3 days per week. Interstitial nitric oxide (NO) levels were measured concurrently in the contralateral foot dorsum. Aerobic training did not significantly enhance baseline skin perfusion, nor were interstitial NO levels different under any condition. At baseline, groups differed only in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting serum glucose, HDL-cholesterol, and insulin resistance. At rest, cutaneous perfusion during local heating to 44 degrees C was significantly lower in DS before training, but did not differ significantly from CS afterward. Neither group, however, experienced significant increases in dorsal foot perfusion during local responsiveness to heating to 44 degrees C following 10 weeks of moderate aerobic training, despite slightly lower perfusion in DS before training; these findings were independent of interstitial NO levels. Thus, moderate aerobic training for only 10 weeks does not appear to reverse the impairment in cutaneous perfusion of the foot dorsum in response local heating in a Type 2 diabetic population.