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Oxidative stress and nitrite dynamics under maximal load in elite athletes: relation to sport type

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Maximal workload in elite athletes induces increased generation of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS) and oxidative stress, but the dynamics of RONS production are not fully explored. The aim of our study was to examine the effects of long-term engagement in sports with different energy requirements (aerobic, anaerobic, and aerobic/anaerobic) on oxidative stress parameters during progressive exercise test. Concentrations of lactates, nitric oxide (NO) measured through stabile end product-nitrites (NO2 ), superoxide anion radical (O2 •−), and thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS) as index of lipid peroxidation were determined in rest, after maximal workload, and at 4 and 10th min of recovery in blood plasma of top level competitors in rowing, cycling, and taekwondo. Results showed that sportmen had similar concentrations of lactates and O2 •− in rest. Nitrite concentrations in rest were the lowest in taekwondo fighters, while rowers had the highest levels among examined groups. The order of magnitude for TBARS level in the rest was bicycling > taekwondo > rowing. During exercise at maximal intensity, the concentration of lactate significantly elevated to similar levels in all tested sportsmen and they were persistently elevated during recovery period of 4 and 10 min. There were no significant changes in O2 •−, nitrite, and TBARS levels neither at the maximum intensity of exercise nor during the recovery period comparing to the rest period in examined individuals. Our results showed that long term different training strategies establish different basal nitrites and lipid peroxidation levels in sportmen. However, progressive exercise does not influence basal nitrite and oxidative stress parameters level neither at maximal load nor during the first 10 min of recovery in sportmen studied.

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This study was supported by Grant No. 175043 from the Ministry of Science and Technical Development of the Republic of Serbia.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

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Correspondence to Vladimir Jakovljevic.

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Cubrilo, D., Djordjevic, D., Zivkovic, V. et al. Oxidative stress and nitrite dynamics under maximal load in elite athletes: relation to sport type. Mol Cell Biochem 355, 273–279 (2011).

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  • Oxidative stress
  • Nitrites
  • Exercise
  • Training type
  • Rowers
  • Cyclists
  • Taekwondo