Exercise training lowers arterial blood pressure independently of Pannexin 1 in men with essential hypertension

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Introduction: Regular exercise training reduces arterial blood pressure but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we evaluated the potential involvement of Pannexin 1, an ATP releasing channel, in the blood pressure-reducing effect of training.

Methods: Middle-aged men; 13 normotensive and 14 non-medicated stage 1 hypertensive, completed 8 weeks of intensive aerobic cycle training. Before and after training, blood pressure and changes in leg vascular conductance, induced by femoral arterial infusion of tyramine (induces endogenous noradrenaline release), acetylcholine or sodium nitroprusside were measured during control conditions and after acute Pannexin 1 inhibition by probenecid. A skeletal muscle biopsy was obtained from the thigh, pre- and post-training.

Results: Exercise training reduced mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure by ~5 (P = 0.013) and 5 mmHg (P < 0.001), respectively, in the hypertensive group only. The reduction in blood pressure was not related to changes in Pannexin-1 function since mean arterial blood pressure and tyramine-induced vasoconstriction remain unaltered by Pannexin 1 inhibition after training in both groups. After training, Pannexin 1 inhibition enhanced leg vascular conductance in the normo- and hypertensive groups at baseline (41.5%, P = 0.0036 and 37.7%, P = 0.024, respectively) and in response to sodium nitroprusside infusion (275%, P = 0.038 and 188%, P = 0.038, respectively). Training did not alter the Pannexin 1 protein expression in skeletal muscle. Training enhanced the vasodilator response to acetylcholine infusion, and increased the expression of microvascular function-relevant proteins.

Conclusions: The exercise training-induced lowering of arterial blood pressure in non-medicated hypertensive men, does not involve an altered function of Pannexin 1.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1417-1427
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 by the American College of Sports Medicine.

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - High blood pressure, Pannexin 1, Physical activity, Probenecid, Vascular conductance

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