Are there oxygen-deficient regions in resting skeletal muscle?

Andras Toth, Miklos Pal, Marc E. Tischler, Paul C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine whether there are local regions in resting skeletal muscle in which the oxygen delivery is insufficient to support oxidative metabolism. This hypothesis was tested by stopping the blood supply to the exteriorized cat sartorius muscle for 5 min while monitoring NADH fluorescence in localized tissue areas 15-25 μm in diameter. A rise in fluorescence was taken to indicate a shift to anaerobic metabolism. Tissue sites in the arteriolar and venular regions of the capillary network were selected for study. After flow stoppage, fluorescence did not change for an average of 48 ± 22 (SD) s and then rose over a period of 61 ± 27 s to an average value 55 ± 19% above control for arteriolar and venular sites combined. Fluorescence began to rise within 5 s of flow stasis in only 1 of 61 sites and within 10 s in 2 sites. There was no difference in the time course or magnitude of fluorescence changes at arteriolar and venular sites. The data indicate that in resting skeletal muscle, oxygen supply appears sufficient to support oxidative metabolism in over 95% of the tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1933-H1939
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 39-6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


  • blood flow and anoxia
  • cat sartorius muscle
  • ischemia
  • microcirculation
  • oxidative metabolism
  • reduced nicotinamide adenine dinuclease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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