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Experimental Physiology - 2023 - Talbot.pdf (1.08 MB)

Cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity are modified by maturational stage and exercise training status during youth

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posted on 2023-10-02, 11:11 authored by Jack S. Talbot, Dean R. Perkins, Christine M. Tallon, Tony G. Dawkins, Andrew J. M. Douglas, Ryan Beckerleg, Andrew Crofts, Melissa E. Wright, Saajan Davies, Jessica J. Steventon, Kevin Murphy, Rachel LordRachel Lord, Christopher J. A. Pugh, Jon Oliver, Rhodri S. Lloyd, Philip N Ainslie, Ali M. McManus, Michael StembridgeMichael Stembridge

Global cerebral blood flow (gCBF) and cerebrovascular reactivity to hypercapnia (CVRco2) are modulated by gonadal hormone activity, while insulin-like growth factor 1 facilitates exercise-mediated cerebral angiogenesis in adults. Whether critical periods of heightened hormonal and neural development during puberty represent an opportunity to further enhance gCBF and CVRco2 is currently unknown. Therefore, we used duplex ultrasound to assess gCBF and CVRco2 in n = 128 adolescents characterised as endurance-exercise trained (males: n = 30, females: n = 36) or untrained (males: n = 29, females: n = 33). Participants were further categorised as pre- (males: n = 35, females: n = 33) or post- (males: n = 24, females: n = 36) peak height velocity (PHV) to determine pubertal or ‘maturity’ status. Three-factor ANOVA was used to identify main and interaction effects of maturity status, biological sex and training status on gCBF and CVRco2. Data are reported as group means (SD). Pre-PHV youth demonstrated elevated gCBF and slower CVRco2 mean response times than post-PHV counterparts (both: P ≤ 0.001). gCBF was only elevated in post-PHV trained males when compared to untrained counterparts (634 (43) vs. 578 (46) ml min−1; P = 0.007). However, CVRco2 mean response time was faster in pre- (72 (20) vs. 95 (29) s; P ≤ 0.001), but not post-PHV (P = 0.721) trained youth when compared to untrained counterparts. Cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with gCBF in post-PHV youth (r2 = 0.19; P ≤ 0.001) and CVRco2 mean response time in pre-PHV youth (r2 = 0.13; P = 0.014). Higher cardiorespiratory fitness during adolescence can elevate gCBF while exercise training during childhood primes the development of cerebrovascular function, highlighting the importance of exercise training during the early stages of life in shaping the cerebrovascular phenotype.


The Waterloo Foundation, Grant/AwardNumber:1129/4226;WellcomeTrust,Grant/AwardNumber:WT224267/Z/21/Z; FIFA Research Scholarship





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Talbot, J.S., Perkins, D.R., Tallon, C.M., Dawkins, T.G., Douglas, A.J., Beckerleg, R., Crofts, A., Wright, M.E., Davies, S., Steventon, J.J., Murphy, K. et al (2023) 'Cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity are modified by maturational stage and exercise training status during youth', Experimental Physiology. doi: 10.1113/EP091279

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Jack Talbot Rachel Lord Christopher J. A. Pugh Jon Oliver Rhodri S. Lloyd Mike Stembridge

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Cardiovascular Physiology

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  • © The Authors


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