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J Nutr Biochem. 2006 Oct;17(10):665-71. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Increased lymphocyte antioxidant defences in response to exhaustive exercise do not prevent oxidative damage.

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Departament de Biologia Fonamental i Ciències de la Salut, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca E-07122, Spain.


It has been reported that exercise induces oxidative stress and causes adaptations in antioxidant defences. The aim of this study was to determine the adaptations of lymphocytes to the oxidative stress induced by an exhaustive exercise. Nine voluntary male subjects participated in the study. The exercise was a cycling mountain stage (171.8 km), and the cyclists took a mean of 283 min to complete it. Blood samples were taken the morning of the cycling stage day, after overnight fasting, and 3 h after finishing the stage. We determined the blood glutathione redox status (GSSG/GSH), lymphocyte antioxidant enzyme activities and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels; the plasma and lymphocyte vitamin E levels; the serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine kinase (CK) activities and urate levels; the plasma carotene and malonaldehyde (MDA) levels; and the lymphocyte carbonyl index. The cycling stage induced significant increases in blood-oxidized (glutathione/GSSG), plasma MDA and serum urate levels. The exercise also produced increases in CK and LDH serum activities. The mountain cycling stage induced significant increases in lymphocyte vitamin E levels, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities as well as increased SOD activity and protein levels. The protein carbonyl levels increased significantly in lymphocytes after the stage. In conclusion, in spite of increasing antioxidant defences in response to the oxidative stress induced by the exhaustive exercise, lymphocyte oxidative damage was produced after the stage as demonstrated by the increased carbonyl index even in very well trained athletes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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