Muscular blood flow distribution patterns as a function of running speed in rats

Am J Physiol. 1982 Aug;243(2):H296-306. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.1982.243.2.H296.


Muscle blood flow (BF) was measured using the radiolabeled microsphere technique within and among nine major muscles of rats before exercise and during treadmill walking or running at speeds of 15, 30, 45, 60, and 75 m/min. Measurements were made during exercise after 1 min of steady walking or running. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were chronically instrumented with 2 Silastic catheters, one in the ascending aorta via the right carotid artery for microsphere infusion and one in the left renal artery for arterial reference blood sample withdrawal. The preexercise results demonstrated that 1) BF to deep slow-twitch muscles was three to four times that to peripheral fast muscles (e.g., soleus and gastrocnemius BFs were 138 and 33 ml . min-1 . 100 g-1, respectively); 2) BFs to red portions within mixed muscles were three to four times those to white portions (e.g, red and white gastrocnemius BFs were 54 and 18 ml . min-1 . 100 g-1, respectively; and 3) there was a direct relationship (P less than 0.05) between BFs to muscles and their slow-twitch oxidative fiber populations. The results obtained during exercise demonstrated that 1) at the slowest speed studied (15 m/min) BFs to the red portions of muscles increased, whereas BFs to the white portions of the same muscles decreased; 2) BFs to all muscles (except soleus) were increased during running at 75 m/min when there was a range of flows of 30 ml . 100 g-1 . min-1 (white gastrocnemius) to 321 (vastus intermedius), 3) at all running speeds the increases in BF to muscles were directly related to the fast-twitch, high-oxidative fiber populations of the muscles; and 4) BFs to visceral tissues and fat were decreased during exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / blood supply*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Thigh