Estimating oxygen consumption rates of arteriolar walls under physiological conditions in rat skeletal muscle

Masahiro Shibata, Shigeru Ichioka, Akira Kamiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


To examine the effects of vascular tone reduction on O2 consumption of the vascular wall, we determined the O2 consumption rates of arteriolar walls under normal conditions and during vasodilation induced by topical application of papaverine. A phosphorescence quenching technique was used to quantify intra- and perivascular PO2 in rat cremaster arterioles with different branching orders. Then, the measured radial PO2 gradients and a theoretical model were used to estimate the O2 consumption rates of the arteriolar walls. The vascular O 2 consumption rates of functional arterioles were > 100 times greater than those observed in in vitro experiments. The vascular O2 consumption rate was highest in first-order (1A) arterioles, which are located upstream, and sequentially decreased downstream in 2A and 3A arterioles under normal conditions. During papaverine-induced vasodilation, on the other hand, the O2 consumption rates of the vascular walls decreased to similar levels, suggesting that the high O2 consumption rates of 1A arterioles under normal conditions depend in part on the workload of the vascular smooth muscle. These results strongly support the hypothesis that arteriolar walls consume a significant amount of O2 compared with the surrounding tissue. Furthermore, the reduction of vascular tone of arteriolar walls may facilitate an efficient supply of O2 to the surrounding tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H295-H300
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 58-1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Oxygen diffusion
  • Papaverine
  • Vascular tone
  • Vascular wall
  • Vasodilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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