European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 10, pp 2183–2191 | Cite as

Acute hypoxic exercise does not alter post-exercise iron metabolism in moderately trained endurance athletes

  • Andrew D. Govus
  • Chris R. Abbiss
  • Laura A. Garvican-Lewis
  • Dorine W. Swinkels
  • Coby M. Laarakkers
  • Christopher J. Gore
  • Peter Peeling
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

This study measured the influence of acute hypoxic exercise on Interleukin-6 (IL-6), hepcidin, and iron biomarkers in athletes.

Methods

In a repeated measures design, 13 moderately trained endurance athletes performed 5 × 4 min intervals at 90 % of their peak oxygen consumption velocity (vVO2peak) in both normoxic [NORM, fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2) = 0.2093, 15.3 ± 1.7 km h−1] and simulated hypoxic (HYP, FIO2 = 0.1450, 13.2 ± 1.5 km h−1) conditions. Venous blood samples were obtained pre-, post-, and 3 h post-exercise, and analysed for serum hepcidin, IL-6, ferritin, iron, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and transferrin saturation.

Results

Peak heart rate was significantly lower in HYP compared with NORM (p = 0.01); however, the rating of perceived exertion was similar between trials (p = 0.24). Ferritin (p = 0.02), transferrin (p = 0.03), and IL-6 (p = 0.01) significantly increased immediately post-exercise in both conditions, but returned to baseline 3 h later. Hepcidin levels significantly increased in both conditions 3 h post-exercise (p = 0.05), with no significant differences between trials. A significant treatment effect was observed between trials for sTfR (p = 0.01), but not iron and transferrin saturation.

Conclusion

Acute exercise in hypoxia did not influence post-exercise IL-6 production, hepcidin activity or iron metabolism compared with exercise at the same relative intensity in normoxia. Hence, acute exercise performed at the same relative intensity in hypoxia poses no further risk to an athlete’s iron status, as compared with exercise in normoxia.

Keywords

Intermittent hypoxic training Altitude training Iron deficiency Hepcidin 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

CL

Confidence limit

CV

Coefficient of variation

EPO

Erythropoietin

FIO2

Fraction of expired oxygen

GDF-15

Growth differentiation factor-15

GXT

Graded exercise test

HIF

Hypoxic inducible factor

HR

Heart rate

HYP

Hypoxic exercise trial

IL-6

Interleukin-6

INT

High-intensity interval running session

NORM

Normoxic exercise trial

RPE

Rating of perceived exertion

SD

Standard deviation

sTfR

Soluble transferrin receptor

VO2peak

Peak oxygen consumption

vVO2peak

Velocity attained at peak oxygen consumption

VE(ATPS)

Volume of expired gas (Atmospheric temperature and pressure saturated)

VE(STPD)

Volume of expired gas (Standard temperature and pressure dry)

WCX-TOF MS

Weak cation-exchange time-of-flight mass spectroscopy

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew D. Govus
    • 1
  • Chris R. Abbiss
    • 1
  • Laura A. Garvican-Lewis
    • 5
    • 3
  • Dorine W. Swinkels
    • 6
    • 7
  • Coby M. Laarakkers
    • 6
    • 7
  • Christopher J. Gore
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Peter Peeling
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Exercise and Sport Science Research, School of Exercise and Health ScienceEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  2. 2.School of Sport Science, Exercise and HealthUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyAustralian Institute of SportBruceAustralia
  4. 4.Exercise Physiology LaboratoryFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia
  5. 5.Research Institute for Sport and ExerciseUniversity of CanberraBelconnenAustralia
  6. 6.Department of Laboratory Medicine (LGEM 830)Radboud University Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  7. 7.Hepcidinanalysis.comNijmegenThe Netherlands

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