Role of cyclooxygenase in the vascular responses to extremity cooling in Caucasian and African males
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Abstract© 2017 The Authors. Experimental Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society New Findings: What is the central question of this study? Compared with Caucasians, African individuals are more susceptible to non-freezing cold injury and experience greater cutaneous vasoconstriction and cooler finger skin temperatures upon hand cooling. We investigated whether the enzyme cyclooxygenase is, in part, responsible for the exaggerated response to local cooling. What is the main finding and its importance? During local hand cooling, individuals of African descent experienced significantly lower finger skin blood flow and skin temperature compared with Caucasians irrespective of cyclooxygenase inhibition. These data suggest that in young African males the cyclooxygenase pathway appears not to be the primary reason for the increased susceptibility to non-freezing cold injury. Individuals of African descent (AFD) are more susceptible to non-freezing cold injury (NFCI) and experience an exaggerated cutaneous vasoconstrictor response to hand cooling compared with Caucasians (CAU). Using a placebo-controlled, cross-over design, this study tested the hypothesis that cyclooxygenase (COX) may, in part, be responsible for the exaggerated vasoconstrictor response to local cooling in AFD. Twelve AFD and 12 CAU young healthy men completed foot cooling and hand cooling (separately, in 8°C water for 30 min) with spontaneous rewarming in 30°C air after placebo or aspirin (COX inhibition) treatment. Skin blood flow, expressed as cutaneous vascular conductance (as flux per millimetre of mercury), and skin temperature were measured throughout. Irrespective of COX inhibition, the responses to foot cooling, but not hand cooling, were similar between ethnicities. Specifically, during hand cooling after placebo, AFD experienced a lower minimal skin blood flow [mean (SD): 0.5 (0.1) versus 0.8 (0.2) flux mmHg−1, P < 0.001] and a lower minimal finger skin temperature [9.5 (1.4) versus 10.7 (1.3)°C, P = 0.039] compared with CAU. During spontaneous rewarming, average skin blood flow was also lower in AFD than in CAU [2.8 (1.6) versus 4.3 (1.0) flux mmHg−1, P < 0.001]. These data provide further support that AFD experience an exaggerated response to hand cooling on reflection this appears to overstate findings; however, the results demonstrate that the COX pathway is not the primary reason for the exaggerated responses in AFD and increased susceptibility to NFCI.
CitationMaley, M.J., House, J.R., Tipton, M.J. and Eglin, C.M. (2017) Role of cyclooxygenase in the vascular responses to extremity cooling in Caucasian and African males, Experimental Physiology, 102(7), pp. 854-865.
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Wiley in Experimental Physiology on 01/06/2017, available online: https://doi.org/10.1113/EP086186 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
SponsorsThis research was funded by the University of Portsmouth.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/