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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 3, pp 1059–1065 | Cite as

Acute short-term hyperoxia followed by mild hypoxia does not increase EPO production: resolving the “normobaric oxygen paradox”

  • Tadej Debevec
  • Michail E. Keramidas
  • Barbara Norman
  • Thomas Gustafsson
  • Ola Eiken
  • Igor B. Mekjavic
Original Article

Abstract

Recent findings suggest that besides renal tissue hypoxia, relative decrements in tissue oxygenation, using a transition of the breathing mixture from hyperoxic to normoxic, can also stimulate erythropoietin (EPO) production. To further clarify the importance of the relative change in tissue oxygenation on plasma EPO concentration [EPO], we investigated the effect of a consecutive hyperoxic and hypoxic breathing intervention. Eighteen healthy male subjects were assigned to either IHH (N = 10) or CON (N = 8) group. The IHH group breathed pure oxygen (FiO2 ~ 1.0) for 1 h, followed by a 1-h period of breathing a hypoxic gas mixture (FiO2 ~ 0.15). The CON group breathed a normoxic gas mixture (FiO2 ~ 0.21) for the same duration (2 h). Blood samples were taken just before, after 60 min, and immediately after the 2-h exposure period. Thereafter, samples were taken at 3, 5, 8, 24, 32, and 48 h after the exposure. During the breathing interventions, subjects remained in supine position. There were significant increases in absolute [EPO] within groups at 8 and 32 h in the CON and at 32 h only in the IHH group. No significant differences in absolute [EPO] were observed between groups following the intervention. Relative (∆[EPO]) levels were significantly lower in the IHH than in the CON group, 5 and 8 h following exposure. The tested protocol of consecutive hyperoxic-hypoxic gas mixture breathing did not induce [EPO] synthesis stimulation. Moreover, the transient attenuation in ∆[EPO] in the IHH group was most likely due to a hyperoxic suppression. Hence, our findings provide further evidence against the “normobaric O2 paradox” theory.

Keywords

Erythropoiesis Hyperoxemia Individual variation Diurnal variation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the dedicated participants. Our thanks are also extended to Dr. Alenka Nemec-Svete and Miro Vrhovec for their technical support. This study was founded, in part, by grants from the Slovene Research Agency (grant no. L7-2413) and b-Cat (The Netherlands) to Igor B. Mekjavic and Ola Eiken. Tadej Debevec and Michail E. Keramidas are recipients of Young Researcher Scholarships from the Slovene Research Agency

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest is declared.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadej Debevec
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michail E. Keramidas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Barbara Norman
    • 3
  • Thomas Gustafsson
    • 3
  • Ola Eiken
    • 4
  • Igor B. Mekjavic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Automation, Biocybernetics and RoboticsJozef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate SchoolLjubljanaSlovenia
  3. 3.Division of Clinical Physiology, Department of Laboratory MedicineKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Physiology, School of Technology and HealthRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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