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The effect of short and long duration exercise on serum erythropoietin concentrations

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The effects of short and long duration exercise on serum erythropoietin concentrations [EPO]s were studied in seven male cross-country skiers of national team standard and eight male marathon runners, respectively. The short duration exercise was performed as 60 min of cycling at an intensity of 80%–95% of maximal heart rate. Arterial blood oxygen saturations monitored by pulse-oximetry remained unchanged throughout exercise. The partial pressure of O2 at which haemoglobin was half-saturated with O2 calculated from forearm venous blood gas tension and blood O2 saturation, and the erythrocyte 2,3-diphosphoglycerate did not change significantly during the exercise. Blood lactate concentrations were increased at the end of exercise [from 1.3 (SEM 0.1) to 3.6 (SEM 0.3) mmol · 1−1]. The [EPO]s determined (by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) pre-exercise, 5 min, 6 h, 19 h, and 30 h after the exercise were unchanged [from 16.1 (SEM 2.6) to 19.1 (SEM 3.2), 17.9 (SEM 3.0), 17.0 (SEM 2.5), and 18.6 (SEM 2.9) U·l−1, respectively]. The [EPO]s were not correlated to the earlier parameters. The long duration exercise consisted of habitual training, a 3 week break from training followed by 2 and 4 weeks of re-training. The [EPO]s, body fat (BF), and serum free-testosterone concentrations determined at the end of each period remained unchanged. The maximal oxygen uptakes were decreased after the break from training and increased during retraining (P=0.04). Body mass (m b) increased after the break in training (P=0.02). The [EPO]s were correlated to BF,r=0.42,P=0.02;m b,r=0.45,P=0.01; and free-testosterone concentrations,r=0.44,P=0.01. Thus, short and long-duration exercise had no direct influence on [EPO]s; but relationships among [EPO]s, free-testosterone concentrations and body composition were noted.

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Correspondence to Tom Klausen.

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Klausen, T., Breum, L., Fogh-Andersen, N. et al. The effect of short and long duration exercise on serum erythropoietin concentrations. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 67, 213–217 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00864217

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Key words

  • Erythropoietin
  • Exercise
  • Blood oxygen affinity
  • Body mass
  • Body composition
  • Testosterone
  • Maximal oxygen uptake