Training induced effects on blood volume, erythrocyte turnover and haemoglobin oxygen binding properties

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Summary

The effect of three weeks ergometer training (Tr) 5 times a week for 45 min at 70% \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{{\text{2 max}}} } \) by 6 subjects on erythrocyte turnover and haemoglobin O2 affinity has been studied. Increased reticulocytosis could be observed from the second day after beginning Tr until a few days after its end, probably caused by increased erythropoietin release by the kidney. Erythrocyte destruction was most pronounced in the first and markedly reduced in the third week of Tr. Elevated glutamate oxalacetate transaminase activity and creatine as well as lowered mean corpuscular haemoglobin indicate a younger erythrocyte population in the first week of recovery. Total blood volume increased during the course of Tr by 700 ml, mainly caused by a raised plasma volume (74%). Red cell volume increased later with maximal values one week after Tr (+280 ml). In this week the standard oxygen dissociation curve was most shifted to the right (P50 increased from 3.77±0.05 kPa to 3.99±0.07 kPa) and the Bohr coefficients had their lowest values. Both effects are completely explainable by the haemoglobin O2 binding properties of young erythrocytes.

After training, all parameters of physical performance ( \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{{\text{2 max}}} } \) , maximal workload, heart rate during rest and exercise) were markedly improved, indicating fast adaptation mechanisms. The increased erythrocyte turnover, including higher erythropoiesis, seems to be one important part of these effects.

A preliminary report was presented at the National Congress of Sports Medicine in Cologne, 1982. Furthermore, the content of this paper was part of the doctoral thesis of the first author