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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 June;42(2):129-34

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

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.

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