Introduction: Extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stimulates vasodilation by binding to endothelial ATP-selective P2Y2 receptors; a phenomenon, which is posited to be accelerated during exercise. Herein, we used a rat model to examine how different dosages of acute oral ATP administration affected the femoral blood flow response prior to, during, and after an exercise bout. In addition, we performed a single dose chronic administration pilot study in resistance trained athletes.
Animal study: Male Wistar rats were gavage-fed the body surface area, species adjusted human equivalent dose (HED) of either 100 mg (n=4), 400 mg (n=4), 1,000 mg (n=5) or 1,600 mg (n=5) of oral ATP as a disodium salt (Peak ATP®, TSI, Missoula, MT). Rats that were not gavage-fed were used as controls (CTL, n=5). Blood flow was monitored continuously: a) 60 min prior to, b) during and c) 90 min following an electrically-evoked leg-kicking exercise. Human Study: In a pilot study, 12 college-aged resistance-trained subjects were given 400 mg of ATP (Peak ATP®, TSI, Missoula, MT) daily for 12 weeks, and prior to an acute arm exercise bout at weeks 1, 4, 8, and 12. Ultrasonography-determined volumetric blood flow and vessel dilation in the brachial artery was measured at rest, at rest 30 minutes after supplementation, and then at 0, 3, and 6 minutes after the exercise.
Animal study: Rats fed 1,000 mg HED demonstrated significantly greater recovery blood flow (p < 0.01) and total blood flow AUC values (p < 0.05) compared to CTL rats. Specifically, blood flow was elevated in rats fed 1,000 mg HED versus CTL rats at 20 to 90 min post exercise when examining 10-min blood flow intervals (p < 0.05). When examining within-group differences relative to baseline values, rats fed the 1,000 mg and 1,600 mg HED exhibited the most robust increases in blood flow during exercise and into the recovery period. Human study: At weeks 1, 8, and 12, ATP supplementation significantly increased blood flow, along with significant elevations in brachial dilation.
Conclusions: Oral ATP administration can increase post-exercise blood flow, and may be particularly effective during exercise recovery.