Indices of free radical mediated damage after maximum voluntary eccentric and concentric muscular work

JM Saxton, A Donnelly, HP Roper

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This study monitored plasma and skeletal muscle markers of free-radical-mediated damage following maximum eccentric and concentric exercise, to examine the potential role of free radicals in exercise-induced muscle damage. Fourteen male volunteers performed either (1) a bout of 70 maximum eccentric and a bout of 70 maximum concentric muscle actions of the forearm flexors (the bouts being separated by 4 weeks; n = 8) or (2) a bout of 80 maximum eccentric and a bout of 80 maximum concentric muscle actions of the knee extensors (the bouts being separated by 1 week; n=6). Plasma markers of lipid peroxidation, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and diene-conjugated compounds (DCC) were monitored in the arm protocol and skeletal muscle markers of oxidative lipid and protein damage, malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl derivatives (PCD) respectively, were monitored in the leg protocol. In both protocols, the contralateral limb was used for the second bout and the order of the bouts was randomised between limbs. Repeated measures ANOVA indicated significant changes from baseline following eccentric arm work on the measures of serum creatine kinase activity (P < 0.05), maximum voluntary torque production (P < 0.01) and relaxed arm angle (P < 0.01). Subjective muscle soreness peaked 2 days after eccentric arm work (P < 0.05, Wilcoxon test). However, there were no changes in the plasma levels of TBARS or DCC following the eccentric or concentric arm exercise. Immediately after concentric leg exercise, skeletal muscle PCD concentrations was significantly higher than that observed immediately after eccentric work (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference between the eccentric and concentric knee extensor bouts was observed on the measure of skeletal muscle MDA concentration. The results of this study offer no support for the involvement of oxygen free radicals in exercise-induced muscle damage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-193
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994

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