The oxidative stress related consequences of physical training at high altitude are not known. The hypothesis was tested that physical training and exposure to high altitude have adverse effects on free radical generation and activities of antioxidant enzymes. The present results showed that 4 weeks of exercise at an altitude of 4000 m increased the activity of Mn-SOD in both white and red types of skeletal muscle. The activities of Cu,Zn-SOD, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, as well as the level of lipid peroxidation measured by TBARS and lipid hydroperoxides, did not change significantly. In contrast, the level of reactive carbonyl derivatives measured by anti-2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazone antibodies and spectrophotometry showed an increase in both types of muscle of altitude trained rats compared with sea level trained and control groups. It was suggested that the oxidative modification of certain amino acids is due to the increasing gap between activity of SOD and peroxide scavenging enzymes, which results in increases in the number of hydrogen peroxide molecules. Thus, since the mechanism of generation and/or the mode of action of radicals resulting in lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation appears to be different in vivo, both processes should be studied during oxidative stress.
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