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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
Original articles EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 June;42(2):129-34
Plasma nitrite/nitrate and erythropoietin levels in cross-country skiers during altitude training
Schena F., Cuzzolin L. *, Rossi L. **, Pasetto M. **, Benoni G. *
From the Ce.Bi.S.M., Center of Bioengineering and Motor Sciences, Rovereto (TN), Italy
* Department of Medicine and Public Health-Pharmacology and
** Department of Morphological and Biomedical Sciences University of Verona, Verona, Italy
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Background. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of training at altitude on plasma nitrite/nitrate and erythropoietin levels since previously it has been reported an interaction of the NO/cGMP system in erythropoietin production.
Methods. Nine physically trained cross-country male skiers, usually living at 800-1200 m altitude, underwent 6 days of intensive training at a moderate altitude of 3100 m preceeded by 2 days of acclimatisation. Six team-managers, selected as controls, did not undergo any regular physical activity in the last 5 years and during the altitude period. Haematological parameters, erythropoietin and nitrite/nitrate were measured prior to reach the place at altitude, at the end of the period at moderate altitude and 7 days after returning at home.
Results. Haematocrit significantly increased in controls after 8 days at altitude. Erythropoietin levels significantly increased after the intensive altitude training only in trained subjects (13.1±1.7 vs 6.7±1.7 mU·ml-1, p<0.001). Nitrite/nitrate baseline values were significantly higher in trained subjects compared to untrained (49.9±17.9 vs 25.4±2.8 µmol·l-1, p<0.01); the altitude period significantly increased nitrite/nitrate levels, in untrained subjects, to the same values observed in trained subjects under control conditions (47.0±10.3 µmol·l-1).
Conclusions. In our experimental conditions we demonstrated the influence of hypoxia on Epo levels in athletes sustaining a short-term training and the role of a regular physical activity (partly independent from altitude hypoxia) on NO production.