The role of perfusion in the oxygen extraction capability of skin and skeletal muscle.
Thorn, C. E.
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology
PublisherAmerican Physiological Society
RightsArchived with thanks to American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology
MetadataShow full item record
Oxygen extraction (OE) by all cells is dependent on an adequate supply of oxygen in proximal blood vessels and the cell's need and ability to uptake that oxygen. Here the role of blood flow in regulating OE in skin and skeletal muscle was investigated in lean and obese men. OE was derived by two optical reflectance spectroscopy techniques: 1) from the rate of fall in mean blood saturation during a 4 min below knee arterial occlusion, and thus no blood flow, in calf skin and skeletal muscle and 2) in perfused, unperturbed skin, using the spontaneous falls in mean blood saturation induced by vasomotion in calf and forearm skin of 24 subjects, 12 lean and 12 obese. OE in perfused skin was significantly higher in lean compared with obese subjects in forearm (Mann-Whitney, P < 0.004) and calf (P < 0.001) and did not correlate with OE in unperfused skin (ρ = -0.01, P = 0.48). With arterial occlusion and thus no blood flow, skin OE in lean and obese subjects no longer differed (P = 0.23, not significant). In contrast in skeletal muscle with arterial occlusion and no blood flow, the difference in OE between lean and obese subjects occurred, with obese subjects exhibiting significantly higher OE (P < 0.012). The classic model of metabolic blood flow regulation to support oxygen extraction is evident in perfused skin; OE is perturbed without blood flow and reduced in obesity. In resting skeletal muscle other mechanism(s), independent of blood flow, are implicated in oxygen extraction.