Chris P. Barber1, Natalie Morgan2, Josie Bushell2, Abby Robinson2, & Ryan A. Gordon1,2

1Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri; 2Drury University, Springfield, Missouri

PURPOSE: Blood flow restricted resistance exercise (BFR) may have angiogenic and cardioprotective effects due to its unique effects on blood flow. We investigated the effects of an acute bout of BFR on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), cir-miR-126, and cir-miR-222 in comparison to moderate-intensity cycling exercise in young men and women. METHODS: Active men and women (n = 10; 20.5 ± 0.8 yr) participated in this study. During visit 1, participants’ arterial occlusion pressure (AOP) was determined. Participants then performed one-repetition maximum (1RM) testing on the leg press, leg extension, and leg curl, and a maximal incremental exercise test on a cycle ergometer. Participants completed one of two exercise protocols in a randomized order at visit 2 and 3: 1) 30 min of cycling at 60% of peak power (AE), or 2) blood flow restricted resistance exercise (BFR). For the BFR visit, participants performed the leg press, leg extension, and leg curl (4 sets per exercise at 30% of 1RM; set 1 = 30 reps, set 2 = 15 reps, set 3 and 4 = reps to concentric failure) with blood flow restriction (60% of AOP). Blood samples were collected prior to, immediately after, 1-hr and 2-hr post-exercise during visits 2 and 3. VEGF concentrations between AE and BFR were determined via ELISA and changes in the expression of cir-miR-126 and cir-miR-222 were determined via qPCR. Differences in VEGF, cir-miR-126, and cir-miR-222 were analyzed using two-way repeated-measures ANOVA followed by Bonferroni post-hoc testing. Differences in exercise responses between AE and BFR were analyzed using an independent sample t-test. All data are reported as mean ± standard deviation, and a was set at p ≤ .05. RESULTS: Heart rate (AE = 156 ± 18 bpm; BFR = 120 ± 16 bpm) and exercise duration (AE = 30 ± 0 min; BFR = 17.6 ± 2.87 min) were different between the two exercise modes (p < .001). No differences in blood lactate or rating of perceived exertion were observed. We observed a main effect for VEGF concentrations over time (p = .025). There were no differences in VEGF, cir-miR-126, or cir-miR-222 between BFR or cycling. CONCLUSION: VEGF, cir-miR-126, and cir-miR-222 increased in response to both moderate-intensity cycling and BFR. Our results suggest BFR can promote angiogenic and cardioprotective effects similarly to those observed in response to endurance exercise.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: This study was funded by a Student Research Grant from the Central States Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, a Fusion Learning Grant from Drury University, and the Research Experiences in the Natural Sciences program at Drury University.

This document is currently not available here.