Objective. To elucidate whether simulated weightlessness can induce changes in lumen diameters of vessels in arteriolar networks in hindlimb muscles and whether these changes are reversible. Method. Changes in lumen diameters of the vessels in the arteriolar network in soleus muscle of 4 wk tail-suspended (SUS-4), 1 wk (REC-1) and 5 wk (REC-5) recovered rats were examined and compared with that of control (CON) rats by use of the method of intra-arterial infusion of a carbon suspension. Result. The lumen diameters of the feeding arteries and arcade arterioles, and the transverse arterioles of the order of both V and II in the SUS-4 group were reduced by 31%, 29%, 28%, and 41%, respectively, as compared with that of the CON group (P<0.01). The diameters of these arterioles in REC-1 group were partially restored but remained significantly less than that of the CON group (P<0.05, or P<0.01). In REC-5 group, except for the transverse arterioles of order II, the diameters of all the other arterioles were fully recovered. Conclusion. These findings indicate that a 4 wk simulated weightlessness might induce atrophic changes in the arterioles of the hindlimb muscles. It also suggests that structural changes in arteriolar network might be an important mechanism accounting for postflight orthostatic intolerance.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Hang tian yi xue yu yi xue gong cheng = Space medicine & medical engineering|
|State||Published - Jun 1999|
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