Skeletal Muscle Pericyte Architecture is Not Sufficient for Conducted Response Signaling

Fitzpatrick, Eamon
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University of Guelph

Active hyperaemia (AH) increases blood flow to active skeletal muscle fibres. The mechanisms of AH have been theorised as occurring at the level of the capillary, using conducted responses (CR) to signal upstream vasodilation. We posit that pericytes may be moving the CR in this phenomenon. However, there is limited information regarding pericyte architecture and association with capillaries within the three skeletal muscle fibre types. We investigated whether pericytes are present in all three fibre types, their association with capillaries, and whether they possess the architecture necessary for CR. Using histology, we identified pericytes in skeletal muscle cross-sectional and longitudinal sections. We found pericytes to be abundant in all three fibre types of the skeletal muscle, but with insufficient architecture for CR. We conclude an important role for pericytes in all three fibre types of skeletal muscle, but also conclude that pericytes are not moving the CR of AH

Pericytes, Skeletal Muscle, Active Hyperaemia, Blood Flow