Nitric oxide and muscle blood flow in exercise

Michael E. Tschakovsky, Michael J. Joyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Despite being the subject of investigation for well over 100 years, the nature of exercising muscle blood flow control remains, in many respects, poorly understood. In this review we focus on the potential role of nitric oxide in vasodilation of muscle resistance vessels during a bout of exercise. Its contribution is explored in the context of whether it contributes to steady-state exercise hyperemia, the dynamic adjustment of muscle blood flow to exercise, or the modulation of sympathetic vasoconstriction in exercising muscle. It appears that the obligatory role of nitric oxide in all three of these categories is modest at best. The elucidation of the integrated nature of exercise hyperemia control in terms of synergy and redundancy of mechanism interaction remains in its infancy, and much more remains to be learned about the role of nitric oxide in this type of integrated control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Endothelium
  • Hyperemia
  • Vasodilation
  • eNOS
  • nNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Nitric oxide and muscle blood flow in exercise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this