During prolonged submaximal exercise muscle blood flow has been shown to increase progressively in rats and miniature swine. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the increases in muscle blood flow are associated with progressive elevations in body temperature in rats. Colonic temperature and muscle blood flow (determined using radioactive microspheres) were measured after 15, 30 and 45 min of exercise in rats exercising on a treadmill at 15 m min-1 on a 0 degree incline. Total hindlimb muscle blood flow increased from 79 +/− 8 ml min-1 100 g-1 at 15 min to 95 +/− 10 ml min-1 100 g-1 at 30 min (P less than 0.05). The greatest increases in blood flow occurred in the deep extensor muscles of the hindlimb. For example, in the red portion of the gastrocnemius muscle, blood flow increased from 197 +/− 15 ml min-1 100 g-1 at 15 min to 285 +/− 17 ml min-1 100 g-1 at 30 min (P less than 0.05). Colonic temperature, however, remained stable at 38.5 degrees C over this period. These data indicate that the progressive hyperaemia in muscle was unrelated to body temperature.

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