Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Kinesiology

First Advisor

Timothy Gavin

Committee Member 1

Bruno Tesini Roseguini

Committee Member 2

Tara M Henagan


With the rates of obesity remaining high, health risks are abundant. This includes an increased possibility of the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Several biochemical and histochemical characteristics associated with obesity have been reported, including a reduction in capillary density in the skeletal muscle and increased muscle fiber size. Resistance exercise is known to induce hypertrophy and increase skeletal muscle capillarization. Following acute resistance exercise, it is hypothesized angiogenic factors are reduced and angiostatic factors are increased in the skeletal muscle of obese individuals. Muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were obtained to investigate whether VEGF, VEGF receptor, TSP-1 expression, and AMPK phosphorylation (an indicator AMPK activation) are lower in obese compared to lean individuals at rest and in response to an acute bout of exercise. Muscle biopsies were taken before, 15 MIN, and 3 HR following 3 sets of single-leg knee extension at 80% 1 RM. Eight sedentary lean (4 male, 4 female) and eight sedentary obese (4 male, 4 female) individuals participated in this study. No differences in VEGF or VEGF receptor mRNA and protein levels were found at rest or following exercise in lean or obese individuals. Exercise increased VEGF mRNA independent of group. Resistance exercise did not affect TSP-1 mRNA and protein expression or AMPK phosphorylation and no differences between lean and obese were found. The present study suggests that the angiogenic response to resistance exercise (a known hypertrophic stimulus) is similar in lean and obese individuals.