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Chronic (-)-epicatechin administration does not affect contracting skeletal muscle microvascular oxygenation

PUBLISHED May 31, 2022 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.54985/peeref.2206p3750191)



Clark Holdsworth1 , Steven Copp1 , Tadakatsu Inagaki1 , Daniel Hirai1 , Scott Ferguson1 , Gabrielle Sims1 , Michael White1 , David Poole1 , Timothy Musch1
  1. Kansas State University

Conference / event

Integrative Biology of Exercise, October 2012 (Westminster, CO, United States)

Poster summary

The flavanol -(-)epicatechin (EPI) is a naturally occurring component of cocoa, consumption of which is associated with numerous cardiovascular health benefits. Chronic EPI reportedly augments mouse skeletal muscle capillarity and mitochondrial density (Nogueira et al, J Physiol, 589, 2011). These effects may translate to improved skeletal muscle O2 delivery-utilization matching (i.e. ↑ microvascular O2 pressure (PO2mv)) during contractions. We tested the hypothesis that EPI would elevate PO2mv at rest and contractions. Rats were administered EPI (2mg/kg , n=5) or water (CON; n=5) via oral gavage twice daily for 21 days. PO2mv was measured via phosphorescence quenching in the spinotrapezius muscle at rest and during 180 s of 1 Hz twitch contractions. Despite previous reports of the efficacy of EPI to improve the O2 transport pathway,chronic EPI treatment (2mg/kg) does not improve skeletal muscle microvascular oxygenation at rest or during contractions.


microcirculation, oxygen diffusion, vascular control

Research areas

Anatomy and Physiology


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Additional information

Competing interests
No competing interests were disclosed.
Data availability statement
The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Creative Commons license
Copyright © 2022 Holdsworth et al. This is an open access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Holdsworth, C., Copp, S., Inagaki, T., Hirai, D., Ferguson, S., Sims, G., White, M., Poole, D., Musch, T. Chronic (-)-epicatechin administration does not affect contracting skeletal muscle microvascular oxygenation [not peer reviewed]. Peeref 2022 (poster).
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