Role of resistance and exchange vessels in local microvascular control of skeletal muscle oxygenation in the dog
The effects of reduction in perfusion pressure, arterial hypoxia, muscle contraction, and adrenergic stimulation on the hindlimb muscle circulation were studied. Under normal conditions (venous Po 2 > 40 mm Hg), oxygen delivery to the muscle was maintained mainly by large increases in the capillary exchange capacity and the oxygen extraction ratio in accord with tissue demand following the application of the above stresses. The participation of the resistance vessels under these conditions was
... ese conditions was minimal. The prevailing venous oxygen tension then was reduced by several means and the response of vascular resistance and capillary exchange capacity to the same stresses was reexamined. At the lower prevailing venous Po 2 , the sensitivity of the resistance vessels to metabolic and hemodynamic disturbances was greatly increased. Consequently, blood flow autoregulation, functional hyperemia, and hypoxic hyperemia were more intense when venous oxygen tension was low. In contrast, the contribution of exchange capacity was diminished, probably owing to the fact that most of the capillaries already are open at low venous Po 2 . These data suggest that the locus of local microvascular control of muscle oxygenation shifts from the normally more sensitive precapillary sphincters to the proximal flow-controlling arterioles as the prevailing venous oxygen tension falls. Yet, although the relative contribution of the resistance and exchange vessels to intrinsic regulation of tissue oxygenation is related to the prevailing venous oxygen tension, the two compensatory mechanisms operating in concert maintain tissue Po 2 above the critical level over a wide range of stresses.