European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 2, pp 251–260 | Cite as

The effects of aerobic exercise training at two different intensities in obesity and type 2 diabetes: implications for oxidative stress, low-grade inflammation and nitric oxide production

  • Mauricio KrauseEmail author
  • Josianne Rodrigues-Krause
  • Ciara O’Hagan
  • Paul Medlow
  • Gareth Davison
  • Davide Susta
  • Colin Boreham
  • Philip Newsholme
  • Mark O’Donnell
  • Colin Murphy
  • Giuseppe De Vito
Original Article



To investigate the effect of 16 weeks of aerobic training performed at two different intensities on nitric oxide (tNOx) availability and iNOS/nNOS expression, oxidative stress (OS) and inflammation in obese humans with or without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


Twenty-five sedentary, obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2) males (52.8 ± 7.2 years); 12 controls versus 13 T2DM were randomly allocated to four groups that exercised for 30 min, three times per week either at low (Fat-Max; 30–40 % VO2max) or moderate (T vent; 55–65 % VO2max) intensity. Before and after training, blood and muscle samples (v. lateralis) were collected.


Baseline erythrocyte glutathione was lower (21.8 ± 2.8 vs. 32.7 ± 4.4 nmol/ml) and plasma protein oxidative damage and IL-6 were higher in T2DM (141.7 ± 52.1 vs. 75.5 ± 41.6 nmol/ml). Plasma catalase increased in T2DM after T vent training (from 0.98 ± 0.22 to 1.96 ± 0.3 nmol/min/ml). T2DM groups demonstrated evidence of oxidative damage in response to training (elevated protein carbonyls). Baseline serum tNOx were higher in controls than T2DM (18.68 ± 2.78 vs. 12.34 ± 3.56 μmol/l). Training at T vent increased muscle nNOS and tNOx in the control group only. Pre-training muscle nNOS was higher in controls than in T2DMs, while the opposite was found for iNOS. No differences were found after training for plasma inflammatory markers.


Exercise training did not change body composition or aerobic fitness, but improved OS markers, especially when performed at T vent. Non-diabetics responded to T vent training by increasing muscle nNOS expression and tNOx levels in skeletal muscle while these parameters did not change in T2DM, perhaps due to higher insulin resistance (unchanged after intervention).


Diabetes Obesity Adipokines Oxidative stress Nitric oxide Blood Skeletal muscle 



Reduced glutathione


Glutathione disulfide


Nitric oxide metabolites


Type 2 diabetes mellitus


C-reactive protein



This work was supported by the Institute of Technology Technological Sector Research (TSR): Strand III—Core Research Strengths Enhancement (Ireland) and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mauricio Krause
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Josianne Rodrigues-Krause
    • 1
  • Ciara O’Hagan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Paul Medlow
    • 4
  • Gareth Davison
    • 4
  • Davide Susta
    • 5
  • Colin Boreham
    • 2
  • Philip Newsholme
    • 6
  • Mark O’Donnell
    • 7
  • Colin Murphy
    • 1
  • Giuseppe De Vito
    • 2
  1. 1.Biomedical Research Group, Department of ScienceInstitute of Technology TallaghtDublin 24Ireland
  2. 2.Institute for Sport and HealthUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.Academy of Sport and Physical ActivitySheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK
  4. 4.Sport and Exercise Sciences Research InstituteUniversity of UlsterJordanstownNorthern Ireland, UK
  5. 5.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  6. 6.CHIRI Biosciences and Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Biomedical SciencesCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  7. 7.Department of Vascular and Endovascular SurgeryRoyal Victoria HospitalBelfastNorthern Ireland, UK

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