European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 1495–1503 | Cite as

The ACTN3 genotype in soccer players in response to acute eccentric training

  • Eduardo Mendonça PimentaEmail author
  • Daniel Barbosa Coelho
  • Izinara Rosse Cruz
  • Rodrigo Figueiredo Morandi
  • Christiano Eduardo Veneroso
  • Guilherme de Azambuja Pussieldi
  • Maria Raquel Santos Carvalho
  • Emerson Silami-Garcia
  • José Antonio De Paz Fernández
Original Article


Genetic factors can interfere with sporting performance. The identification of genetic predisposition of soccer players brings important information to trainers and coaches for individual training loads adjustment. Different responses to eccentric training could be observed by the genotype referred to as α-actinin-3 (ACTN3) in biomarkers of muscle damage, hormones and inflammatory responses. The aim of this study was to compare acute inflammatory responses, muscle damage and hormonal variations according to the eccentric training in soccer professional athletes with different genetic profiles of ACTN3 (XX, RX and RR). 37 soccer professional athletes (9 XX, 13 RX, 15 RR) were randomly divided into five stations associated to eccentric muscle contraction and plyometrics. Blood samples were taken from athletes pre-eccentric training, immediately after (post), 2- and 4-h post-eccentric training to determine hormone responses (cortisol and testosterone), muscle damage (CK and α-actin), and inflammatory responses (IL-6). After eccentric training, athletes XX presented higher levels for CK (4-h post), α-actin (post and 2-h post) and cortisol (post) compared to RR and RX athletes. However, RR and RX athletes presented higher levels of testosterone (post) and IL-6 (2 h post and 4 h post) compared to athletes XX. The main conclusion of this study is that professional soccer athletes homozygous to ACTN3XX gene are more susceptible to eccentric damage and present a higher catabolic state, demonstrated by metabolic, hormonal and immune responses post an eccentric training, in comparison to ACTN3RR and ACTN3RX groups.


Muscle damage Soccer ACTN3 Eccentric 



I thank the athletes involved in the study, the São Sebastião laboratory for receiving our team and especially to Elias Marcilene and Luciano Cappetinne for their competence and readiness. This work was financially supported by CNPQ 301074/2008-9. 475547/2007-1 CAPES/FAPEMIG APQ-5023-5.01-07/PRONEX/CRUZEIRO ESPORTE CLUBE.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare with regard to the present work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo Mendonça Pimenta
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Daniel Barbosa Coelho
    • 2
  • Izinara Rosse Cruz
    • 3
  • Rodrigo Figueiredo Morandi
    • 2
  • Christiano Eduardo Veneroso
    • 1
  • Guilherme de Azambuja Pussieldi
    • 4
    • 1
  • Maria Raquel Santos Carvalho
    • 3
  • Emerson Silami-Garcia
    • 2
  • José Antonio De Paz Fernández
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED)University of LeónLeónSpain
  2. 2.School of Physical Education, Physiotherapy and Occupational TherapyFederal University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Laboratory of Human and Medical Genetics, ICBUFMGBelo HorizonteBrazil
  4. 4.School of Physical EducationFederal University of ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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