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Erythropoietin production as a result of repeated apneas
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
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2004 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: It has been known for decades that high altitude hypoxia will lead to increased erythropoiesis. Hypoxia in mainly the kidney results in an increased production of erythropoietin (EPO) stimulating erythropoiesis. High altitude natives display a higher haemoglobin concentration than sea level residents, which in turn increase their haemoglobin concentration as part of the adaptation to altitude. Another group of humans exposed to hypoxia is apneic divers, which may endure transient acute hypoxia, spaced by periods of normal breathing. We recently found higher haemoglobin levels in elite apneic divers, compared to groups of elite skiers and untrained subjects, suggesting that apnea training may induce erythropoiesis in humans. It is well known that diving mammals display high haemoglobin concentrations, and the beneficial effects are obvious: A larger oxygen store before diving prolongs the aerobic dive limit, and a higher haemoglobin concentration may speed up recovery after apneas and act as a buffer against acidosis during the dive. Although our group comparisons reveal a higher haemoglobin concentration in divers, it cannot be determined whether this is a training effect or genetically determined i.e. if individuals with higher concentrations of haemoglobin are more prone to take up apneic diving. Methods: To investigate if apnea training can induce EPO production, 5 previously untrained volunteers (3 men and 2 women, mean ageSD 28 5.5 years) performed 15 maximal apneas in a horizontal position in air. The apneas were grouped in 3 series of 5 apneas and spaced by 2 minutes of which 1 minute was spent slightly hyperventilating, to produce apneas sufficiently long to induce hypoxia. Series were spaced by 10 minutes resting periods. To determine EPO levels, venous blood samples were taken before apneas and directly after the last apnea series, followed by samples 1, 2, 3 and 5 hours after the apneas. Results: Mean baseline EPO before the apneas was 10.2 U/L. In all subjects EPO levels increased during the 5 hours period after the apneas. The time for EPO-peak values were different among individuals. The mean peak value occurred after 3 h, where the mean increase was 12 % of the pre apnea reference value. Conclusion: The results suggest that apnea induced intermittent hypoxia could lead to increased erythropoiesis. The evaluation of these findings in a larger group of subjects, including measurements of the individual circadian variations in EPO production, is in progress.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004.
Keyword [en]
EPO Hypoxia Apnea
National Category
Microbiology Sport and Fitness Sciences Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-6172Local ID: 1998OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-6172DiVA: diva2:31211
Available from: 2009-02-18 Created: 2009-02-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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