Impact of endothelin blockade on acute exercise-induced changes in blood flow and endothelial function in type 2 diabetes mellitus.Exp Physiol. 2014 Sep; 99(9):1253-64.EP
Positive vascular effects of exercise training are mediated by acute increases in blood flow. Type 2 diabetes patients show attenuated exercise-induced increases in blood flow, possibly mediated by the endothelin pathway, preventing an optimal stimulus for vascular adaptation. We examined the impact of endothelin receptor blockade (bosentan) on exercise-induced blood flow in the brachial artery and on pre- and postexercise endothelial function in type 2 diabetes patients (n = 9, 60 ± 7 years old) and control subjects (n = 10, 60 ± 5 years old). Subjects reported twice to the laboratory to perform hand-grip exercise in the presence of endothelin receptor blockade or placebo. We examined brachial artery endothelial function (via flow-mediated dilatation) before and after exercise, as well as blood flow during exercise. Endothelin receptor blockade resulted in a larger increase in blood flow during exercise in type 2 diabetes patients (P = 0.046), but not in control subjects (P = 0.309). Exercise increased shear rate across the exercise protocol, unaffected by endothelin receptor blockade. Exercise did not alter brachial artery diameter in either group, but endothelin receptor blockade resulted in a larger brachial artery diameter in type 2 diabetes patients (P = 0.033). Exercise significantly increased brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation in both groups, unaffected by endothelin receptor blockade. Endothelin receptor blockade increased exercise-induced brachial artery blood flow in type 2 diabetes patients, but not in control subjects. Despite this effect of endothelin receptor blockade on blood flow, we found no impact on baseline or post-exercise endothelial function in type 2 diabetes patients or control subjects, possibly related to normalization of the shear stimulus during exercise. The successful increase in blood flow during exercise in type 2 diabetes patients through endothelin receptor blockade may have beneficial effects in repeated exercise training.