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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2009 Sep;107(3):853-8. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00404.2009. Epub 2009 Jul 2.

Hormone therapy attenuates exercise-induced skeletal muscle damage in postmenopausal women.

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Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Clinical Exercise Research Center, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Appl Physiol. 2010 Sep;109(3):942. Sattler, F R [added].


Hormone therapy (HT) is a potential treatment to relieve symptoms of menopause and prevent the onset of disease such as osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. We evaluated changes in markers of exercise-induced skeletal muscle damage and inflammation [serum creatine kinase (CK), serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and skeletal muscle mRNA expression of IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, and TNF-alpha] in postmenopausal women after a high-intensity resistance exercise bout. Fourteen postmenopausal women were divided into two groups: women not using HT (control; n = 6, 59 +/- 4 yr, 63 +/- 17 kg) and women using traditional HT (HT; n = 8, 59 +/- 4 yr, 89 +/- 24 kg). Both groups performed 10 sets of 10 maximal eccentric repetitions of single-leg extension on the Cybex dynamometer at 60 degrees /s with 20-s rest periods between sets. Muscle biopsies of the vastus lateralis were obtained from the exercised leg at baseline and 4 h after the exercise bout. Gene expression was determined by RT-PCR for IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, and TNF-alpha. Blood draws were performed at baseline and 3 days after exercise to measure CK and LDH. Independent t-tests were performed to test group differences (control vs. HT). A probability level of P <or= 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance. We observed significantly greater changes in mRNA expression of IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, and TNF-alpha (P <or= 0.01) in the control group compared with the HT group after the exercise bout. CK and LDH levels were significantly greater after exercise (P <or= 0.01) in the control group. Postmenopausal women not using HT experienced greater muscle damage after maximal eccentric exercise, indicating a possible protective effect of HT against exercise-induced skeletal muscle damage.

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