Effects of regular physical exercise on skin blood flow and cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese subjects

Keywords: laser-doppler flowmetry, nitric oxide, omentin, obesity, physical exercise


Objective: it is well known that low omentin levels and reduced bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO) are outgrowth of obesity. Besides, in obese subjects, microvascular dysfunction can be an initial stage of cardiovascular diseases. This situation can be evaluated with skin laser–Doppler flowmetry (LDF).
Methods: in this study we investigated the effects of 12 weeks moderate physical exercise on microvascular reactivity and plasma levels of omentin and NO in 25 overweight and obese subjects. Control group was composed of 28 sedentary participants who were neither obese nor overweight. Microvascular reactivity was handled by measurement of skin blood flow from the ring finger of the right hand with LDF, which is a non–invasive method for evaluation. With this method, it was aimed to examine the post–occlusive reactive hyperemia response of the patients. None of the participants in both groups have never followed a regular exercise schedule in their life span.
Results: with regular exercise, there was a statistically significant decrease in glucose (p=0.008), cholesterol (p=0.05), and triglyceride (p=0.048) levels, while body mass index, high–density lipoprotein, and low–density lipoprotein levels did not change significantly in overweight/obese group. Also, the omentin level significantly increased (p=0.01), but NO level did not change significantly. Moreover, the amount of change in omentin and NO levels measured before and after the physical exercise were significantly correlated (r=0.57). Considering the microcirculation, rest flow (p=0.001) and peak flow value of LDF (p=0.001) increased after the physical exercise.
Conclusion: our study shows that moderate physical exercise affects microvascular reactivity and plasma levels of omentin in overweight and obese subjects.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Tuğba Kılıç, Gaziantep University (GAUN), Faculty of Medicine, Physiology Department, Gaziantep, Turkey.

PhD in Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Gaziantep University (GAUN), Gaziantep, Turkey. Practitioner/Clinician in Tuğba Beauty Centre in Gaziantep, Turkey. Graduated from Atatürk University (ATAUNI), Faculty of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey.

Cahit Bağcı, Sakarya University (SAU), Faculty of Medicine, Physiology Department, Sakarya, Turkey.

PhD in Physiology Department of Graduate School of Health Science of Ankara University, Turkey. Graduated from Ankara University (AU), Faculty of Veterinary Science, Ankara, Turkey. Professor at Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Gaziantep University (GAUN), Turkey. Professor at Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Sakarya University (SU), Turkey.

Mehmet Göl, Gaziantep Islam Science and Technology University (GIBTU), Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Physiology, Gaziantep, Turkey.

PhD in Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Gaziantep University (GAUN), Ankara, Turkey. Graduated from Hacettepe University (HU), Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey. Assistant Professor at Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Gaziantep Islam Science and Technology University (GIBTU), Gaziantep, Turkey.

Hakim Çelik, Harran University (HRU), Faculty of Medicine, Physiology Department, Şanlıurfa, Turkey.

PhD in Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Gaziantep University (GAUN), Gaziantep, Turkey. Master degree in Biochemistry Department of Graduate School of Health Science of Harran University, Şanlıurfa Turkey. Graduated from Harran University (HRU), Biology Department of Faculty of Arts and Science, Şanlıurfa, Turkey. Associate Professor at Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Harran University, Turkey.

Davut Sinan Kaplan, Gaziantep University (GAUN), Faculty of Medicine, Physiology Department, Gaziantep, Turkey.

PhD in Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Gaziantep University (GAUN), Turkey. Graduated from Fırat University (FU), Faculty of Veterinary Science, Elazığ, Turkey. Associate Professor at Physiology Department of Faculty of Medicine of Gaziantep University, Gaziantep Turkey.


Poirier P, Giles TD, Bray GA, Hong Y, Stern JS, Pi- Sunyer FX et al. Obesity and cardiovascular disease: pathophysiology, evaluation, and effect of weight loss an update of the 1997 American Heart Association Scientific statement on obesity and heart disease from the obesity committee of the council on nutrition, physical activity, and metabolism. Circulation. 2006;113(6):898-918. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.171016

Dandona P, Aljada A, Chaudhuri A, Bandyopadhyay A. The potential influence of inflammation and insulin resistance on the pathogenesis and treatment of atherosclerosis-related complications in type 2 diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003;88(6):2422-9. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030178

Saremi A, Asghari M, Ghorbani A. Effects of aerobic training on serum omentin-1 and cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese men. J Sports Sci. 2010;28(9):993-8. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2010.484070

Shibata R, Ouchi N, Kikuchi R, Takahashi R, Takeshita K, Kataoka Y et al. Circulating omentin is associated with coronary artery disease in men. Atherosclerosis. 2011; 219 (2): 811-4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.08.017

Franzoni F, Galetta F, Morizzo C, Lubrano V, Palombo C, Santoro G et al. Effects of age and physical fitness on microcirculatory function. Clin Sci (Lond). 2004;106(3):329-35. https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20030229

Georgescu A, Popov D, Constantin A, Nemecz M, Alexandru N, Cochior D et al. Dysfunction of human subcutaneous fat arterioles in obesity alone or obesity associated with Type 2 diabetes. Clin Sci (Lond). 2011;120(10):463-72. https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20100355

Yamawaki H, Kuramoto J, Kameshima S, Usui T, Okada M, Hara Y. Omentin, a novel adipocytokine inhibits TNFinduced vascular inflammation in human endothelial cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011;408(2):339- 43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.04.039

Schlager O, Willfort-Ehringer A, Hammer A, Steiner S, Fritsch M, Giurgea A et al. Microvascular function is impaired in children with morbid obesity. Vasc Med. 2011;16(2):97-102. https://doi.org/10.1177/1358863X11400780

Aggoun Y. Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Pediatr Res. 2007;61(6):653-59. https://doi.org/10.1203/pdr.0b013e31805d8a8c

Pan H-Y, Guo L, Li Q. Changes of serum omentin-1 levels in normal subjects and in patients with impaired glucose regulation and with newly diagnosed and untreated type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010;88(1):29-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2010.01.013

Humeau A, Steenbergen W, Nilsson H, Stromberg T. Laser Doppler perfusion monitoring and imaging: novel approaches. Med Biol Eng Comput. 2007;45(5):421-35. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11517-007-0170-5

Klonizakis M, Alkhatib A, Middleton G, Smith MF. Mediterranean diet- and exercise-induced improvement in age-dependent vascular activity. Clin Sci (Lond). 2013;124(9):579-87. https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20120412

Stewart J, Kohen A, Brouder D, Rahim F, Adler S, Garrick R et al. Noninvasive interrogation of microvasculature for signs of endothelial dysfunction in patients with chronic renal failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2004;287(6):H2687-H2696. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00287.2004

Anderson TJ, Uehata A, Gerhard MD, Meredith IT, Knab S, Delagrange D et al. Close relation of endothelial function in the human coronary and peripheral circulations. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995;26(5):1235-41. https://doi.org/10.1016/0735-1097(95)00327-4

Kubli S, Waeber B, Dalle-Ave A, Feihl, F. Reproducibility of laser Doppler imaging of skin blood flow as a tool to assess endothelial function. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2010;36(5):640-8. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005344-200011000-00014

Rossi M, Taddei S, Fabbri A, Tintori G, Credidio L, Virdis A et al. Cutaneous vasodilation to acetylcholine in patients with essential hypertension. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1997;29(3):406-11. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005344-199703000-00015

Keymel S, Sichwardt J, Balzer J, Stegemann E, Rassaf T, Kleinbongard P et al. Characterization of the noninvasive assessment of the cutaneous microcirculation by laser Doppler perfusion scanner. Microcirculation. 2010;17(5),358-66. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1549-8719.2010.00037.x

Grassi G, Seravalle G, Scopelliti F, Dell’Oro R, Fattori L, Quarti-Trevano F et al. Structural and functional alterations of subcutaneous small resistance arteries in severe human obesity. Obesity. 2010;18(1):92-8. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2009.195

Lenasi H., Strucl, M. Effect of regular physical training on cutaneous microvascular reactivity. Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(4):606-12. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000121948.86377.51

Pasqualini L, Schillaci G, Innocente S, Pucci G, Coscia F, Siepi D, et al. Lifestyle intervention improves microvascular reactivity and increases serum adiponectin in overweight hypertensive patients. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010;20(2):87-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2009.03.002

Kvernmo HD, Stefanovska A, Kirkebøen KA, Østerud B, Kvernebo K. Enhanced endothelium-dependent vasodilation in human skin vasculature induced by physical conditioning. Eur L Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1998;79(1):30-6. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004210050469

Mestek ML, Westby CM, Van Guilder GP, Greiner JJ, Stauffer BL, DeSouza CA. Regular aerobic exercise, without weight loss, improves endothelium‐dependent vasodilation in overweight and obese adults. obesity. 2012;18(8):1667-69. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2009.467

Johnson JM, Kellogg DL Jr. Local thermal control of the human cutaneous circulation. J Appl Physiol. 2010;109(4):1229-38. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00407.2010

Murphy EC, Carson L, Neal W, Baylis C, Donley D, Yeater R. Effects of an exercise intervention using Dance Dance Revolution on endothelial function and other risk factors in overweight children. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2009;4(4):205-14. https://doi.org/10.3109/17477160902846187

Senolt L, Polanska M, Filkova M, Cerezo LA, Pavelka K, Gay S et al. Vaspin and omentin: new adipokines differentially regulated at the site of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010,69(7):1410-1. https://doi.org/10.1136/ard.2009.119735

Zhong X, Li X, Liu F, Tan H, Shang D. Omentin inhibits TNF-alpha-induced expression of adhesion molecules in endothelial cells via ERK/NF-ƙB pathway. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012;425(2):401-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.07.110

Wilms B, Ernst B, Gerig R, Schultes B. Plasma omentin-1 levels are related to exercise performance in obese women and increase upon aerobic endurance training. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2015;123(3):187- 92. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0034-1398504

Faramarzi M, Banitalebi E, Nori S, Farzin S, Taghavian Z. Effects of rhythmic aerobic exercise plus core stability training on serum omentin, chemerin and vaspin levels and insulin resistance of overweight women. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015;56(4):476-82.

Wang JS. Effects of exercise training and detraining on cutaneous microvascular function in man: the regulatory role of endothelium-dependent dilation in skin vasculature. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2005;93(4):429-34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-004-1176-4

Gomes VA, Casella-Filho A, Chagas AC, Tanus-Santos JE. Enhanced concentrations of relevant markers of nitric oxide formation after exercise training in patients with metabolic syndrome. Nitric Oxide. 2008;19(4):345-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2008.08.005

de Souza Batista CM, Yang RZ, Lee MJ, Glynn NM, Yu DZ, Pray J et al. Omentin plasma levels and gene expression are decreased in obesity. Diabetes. 2007;56(6):1655-61. https://doi.org/10.2337/db06-1506

How to Cite
Kılıç, T., Bağcı, C., Göl, M., Çelik, H., & Kaplan, D. S. (2022). Effects of regular physical exercise on skin blood flow and cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese subjects. Scientia Medica, 32(1), e41980. https://doi.org/10.15448/1980-6108.2022.1.41980