Changes in blood lipid peroxidation markers and antioxidants after a single sprint anaerobic exercise


It has been well demonstrated that the principal factor responsible for oxidative damage during exercise is the increase in oxygen consumption. However, other theoretical factors (acidosis, catecholamine autoxidation, ischemia-reperfusion syndrome, etc.) that are known to induce, in vitro, oxidative damage may also be operative during short-term supramaximal anaerobic exercise. Therefore, we hypothesized that short-term supramaximal anaerobic exercise (30-s Wingate test) could induce an oxidative stress. Lipid peroxidation markers [serum lipid radical production detected by electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy and plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) levels detected by the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) method], as well as erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activities [glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD)] and erythrocyte glutathione (GSH) levels, were measured at rest, after the Wingate test and during the 40 min of recovery. The recovery of exercise was associated with a significant increase (x2.7) in lipid radical production detected by ESR spectroscopy, as well as with changes in the erythrocyte GSH level (−13.6%) and SOD activity (−11.7%). The paradoxical decrease in plasma TBARS (−23.7%) which was correlated with the peak power developed during the Wingate test (r=−0.7), strongly suggests that such exercise stimulates the elimination of MDA. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that short-term supramaximal anaerobic exercise induces an oxidative stress and that the plasma TBARS level is not a suitable marker during this type of exercise.

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The authors thank Dominique Paul, Marie-Thérèse Gougeon, Catherine Stott Carmeni, Michel Monnier, and Marthe Godard for technical assistance and Dr Bennani-Dosse for statistical assistance. Experimental procedures were approved by the "Comité Consultatif des Personnes pour la Recherche Biomédicale (CCPPRB)" of Rennes.

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Correspondence to C. Groussard.

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Groussard, C., Rannou-Bekono, F., Machefer, G. et al. Changes in blood lipid peroxidation markers and antioxidants after a single sprint anaerobic exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 89, 14–20 (2003).

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  • Electron spin resonance
  • Lipid radicals
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Oxidative stress
  • Wingate test