We investigated the influence of a single exhaustive bout of downhill running on oxidative damage to DNA and changes of antioxidant vitamin concentrations in rats. Plasma vitamin E levels were unchanged up to 48 hr postexercise. However, plasma ascorbic acid (AA) levels increased after the exercise, then decreased thereafter. This increase corresponded to a marked decrease in AA concentration in the adrenal glands. The activity of hepatic l-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase, which catalyzes AA synthesis, was unaltered after the exercise. The weight of the adrenal glands was significantly increased 24 hr postexercise. These results indicate that the change in the plasma AA concentration after vigorous exercise was due mainly to the release of AA from the adrenal glands. The plasma creatine phosphokinase (CPK) activity and white blood cell (WBC) count increased 3 to 6 hr postexercise. Over this same period, a marker of oxidative DNA damage, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine in DNA, increased in the WBC, but not in the foreleg muscle. Lipid peroxide and vitamin E levels were also unchanged in the foreleg muscle. There was a positive correlation between CPK activity in the plasma and DNA damage in the WBC, suggesting that the DNA damage in the WBC was closely related with muscle damage due to exercise. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
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