European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 101, Issue 4, pp 481–486 | Cite as

Prolonged administration of recombinant human erythropoietin increases submaximal performance more than maximal aerobic capacity

  • J. J. Thomsen
  • R. L. Rentsch
  • P. Robach
  • J. A. L. Calbet
  • R. Boushel
  • P. Rasmussen
  • C. Juel
  • C. Lundby
Original Article

Abstract

The effects of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) treatment on aerobic power (VO2max) are well documented, but little is known about the effects of rHuEpo on submaximal exercise performance. The present study investigated the effect on performance (ergometer cycling, 20–30 min at 80% of maximal attainable workload), and for this purpose eight subjects received either 5,000 IU rHuEpo or placebo every second day for 14 days, and subsequently a single dose of 5,000 IU/placebo weekly/10 weeks. Exercise performance was evaluated before treatment and after 4 and 11 weeks of treatment. With rHuEpo treatment VO2max increased (P < 0.05) by 12.6 and 11.6% in week 4 and 11, respectively, and time-to-exhaustion (80% VO2max) was increased by 54.0 and 54.3% (P < 0.05) after 4 and 11 weeks of treatment, respectively. However, when normalizing the workload to the same relative intensity (only done at time point week 11), TTE was decreased by 26.8% as compared to pre rHuEpo administration. In conclusion, in healthy non-athlete subjects rHuEpo administration prolongs submaximal exercise performance by about 54% independently of the approximately 12% increase in VO2max.

Keywords

rHuEpo Epo Doping Exercise VO2max 

References

  1. Audran M, Gareau R, Matecki S, Durand F, Chenard C, Sicart M, Marion B, Bressolle F (1999) Effects of erythropoietin administration in training athletes and possible indirect detection in doping control. Med Sci Sports Exerc 31:639–645PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bassett DR, Howley ET (2000) Limiting factors for maximum oxygen uptake and determinants of endurance performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32:70–84PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berglund B, Ekblom B (1991) Effect of recombinant human erythropoietin treatment on blood pressure and some hematological parameters in healthy men. J Intern Med 229:125–130PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Birkeland KI, Stray-Gundersen J, Hemmersbach P, Jostein H, Haug E, Bahr R (2000) Effect of rhEPO administration on serum levels of sTfR and cycling performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32:1238–1243PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brien AJ, Simon TL (1987) The effects of red blood cell infusion on 10-km race time. J Am Med Assoc 20:2761–2765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burgomaster KA, Hughes CS, Heigenhauser GJ, Bradwell SN, Gibala MJ (2005) Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. J Appl Physiol 98:1895–1990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Calbet JAL, Lundby C, Koskolou M, Boushel R (2006) Importance of hemoglobin concentration to exercise: acute manipulations. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 151:132–140PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. di Prampero PE, Ferretti G (1990) Factors limiting maximal oxygen consumption in humans. Respir Physiol 80:113–127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jelkmann W (2005) Effects of erythropoietin on brain function. Curr Pharm Biotechnol 6:65–79PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Jeukendrup A, Saris WH, Brouns F, Kester AD (1996) A new validated endurance performance test. Med Sci Sports Exerc 28:266–270PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Leddy J, Limprasertkul A, Patel S, Modlich F, Buyea C, Pendergast D, Lundgren C (2007) Isocapnic hyperpnea training improves performance in competitive male runners. Eur J Appl Physiol 99:665–676PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lucia A, Hoyos J, Perez M, Santalla A, Chicharro JL (2002) Inverse relationship between VO2max and economy/efficiency in world-class cyclists. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34:2079–2084PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lundby C, Thomsen JJ, Boushel R, Koskolou M, Warberg J, Calbet JAL, Robach P (2007) Erythropoietin treatment elevates haemoglobin concentration by increasing red cell volume and depressing plasma volume. J Physiol 578:309–314PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McMahon FG, Vargas R, Ryan M, Jain AK, Abels RI, Perry B, Smith IL (1990) Pharmacokinetics and effects of recombinant human erythropoietin after intravenous and subcutaneous injections in healthy volunteers. Blood 76:1718–1722PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Miskowiak K, Inkster B, Selvaraj S, Wise R, Goodwin GM, Harmer CJ (2007) Erythropoietin improves mood and modulates the cognitive and neural processing of emotion 3 days post administration. NeuropsychopharmacologyGoogle Scholar
  16. Ninot G, Connes P, Caillaud C (2006) Effects of recombinant human erythropoietin injections on physical self in endurance athletes. J Sports Sci 24:383–391PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Parisotto R, Wu M, Ashenden MJ, Emslie KR, Gore CJ, Howe C, Kazlauskas R, Sharpe K, Trout GJ, Xie M (2001) Detection of recombinant human erythropoietin abuse in athletes utilizing markers of altered erythropoiesis. Haematologica 86:128–137PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Rice L, Ruiz W, Driscoll T, Whitley CE, Tapia R, Hachey DL, Gonzales GF, Alfrey CP (2001) Neocytolysis on descent from altitude: a newly recognized mechanism for the control of red cell mass. Ann Intern Med 134:652–656PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Russell G, Gore CJ, Ashenden MJ, Parisotto R, Hahn AG (2002) Effects of prolonged low doses of recombinant human erythropoietin during submaximal and maximal exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 86:442–449PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Turner DL, Hoppeler H, Noti C, Gurtner HP, Gerber H, Schena F, Kayser B, Ferretti G (1993) Limitations to VO2max in humans after blood retransfusion. Respir Physiol 92:329–341PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wagner PD (2000) New ideas on limitations to VO2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc 28:10–14Google Scholar
  22. Warburton DER, Gledhill N, Quinney H (2000) Blood volume, aerobic power, and endurance performance: potential ergogenic effect of volume loading. Clin J Sport Med 10:59–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Thomsen
    • 3
  • R. L. Rentsch
    • 2
  • P. Robach
    • 4
  • J. A. L. Calbet
    • 5
  • R. Boushel
    • 6
  • P. Rasmussen
    • 7
  • C. Juel
    • 2
  • C. Lundby
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sport ScienceUniversity of ÅrhusÅrhus NDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Molecular BiologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Copenhagen Muscle Research CentreRigshospitaletCopenhagen ØDenmark
  4. 4.ENSAChamonixFrance
  5. 5.Department of Physical EducationUniversity of Las Palmas de Gran CanariaCanariaSpain
  6. 6.Department of Exercise ScienceConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  7. 7.Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, Department of AnaesthesiaRigshospitaletCopenhagen ØDenmark

Personalised recommendations