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The effect of high-altitude on human skeletal muscle energetics: 31P-MRS results from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest expedition


Edwards, LM and Holloway, CJ and Murray, AJ and Kemp, GJ and Tyler, DJ and Neubauer, S and Levett, D and Grocott, MP and Montgomery, H and Robbins, PA and Clarke, K and Ahuja, V and Aref-Adib, G and Burnham, R and Chisholm, A and Coates, D and Coates, M and Cook, D and Cox, M and Dhillon, S and Dougall, C and Doyle, P and Duncan, P and Edsell, M and Evans, L and Gardiner, P and Gunning, P and Hart, N and Harrington, J and Harvey, J and Howard, D and Hurlbut, D and Imray, C and Ince, C and Jonas, M and van der Kaaij, J and Khosravi, M and Kolfschoten, N and Luery, H and Luks, A and Martin, D and McMorrow, R and Meale, P and Mitchell, K and Morgan, G and Morgan, J and Mythen, M and Newman, S and O'Dwyer, M and Pate, J and Plant, T and Pun, M and Richards, P and Richardson, A and Rodway, G and Simpson, J and Stroud, C and Stroud, M and Stygal, J and Symons, B and Szawarski, P and van Tulleken, A and van Tulleken, C and Vercueil, A and Wandrag, L and Wilson, M and Windsor, J and Basnyat, B and Clarke, C and Hornbein, T and Milledge, J and West, J, The effect of high-altitude on human skeletal muscle energetics: 31P-MRS results from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest expedition, PLoS One, 5, (5) Article e10681. ISSN 1932-6203 (2010) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic (CC BY 2.5)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010681


Many disease states are associated with regional or systemic hypoxia. The study of healthy individuals exposed to high-altitude hypoxia offers a way to explore hypoxic adaptation without the confounding effects of disease and therapeutic interventions. Using 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging, we investigated skeletal muscle energetics and morphology after exposure to hypobaric hypoxia in seven altitude-naļve subjects (trekkers) and seven experienced climbers. The trekkers ascended to 5300 m while the climbers ascended above 7950 m. Before the study, climbers had better mitochondrial function (evidenced by shorter phosphocreatine recovery halftime) than trekkers: 16 ± 1 vs. 22 ± 2 s (mean ± SE, p < 0.01). Climbers had higher resting [Pi] than trekkers before the expedition and resting [Pi] was raised across both groups on their return (PRE: 2.6 ± 0.2 vs. POST: 3.0 ± 0.2 mM, p < 0.05). There was significant muscle atrophy post-CXE (PRE: 4.7 ± 0.2 vs. POST: 4.5 ± 0.2 cm2, p < 0.05), yet exercising metabolites were unchanged. These results suggest that, in response to high altitude hypoxia, skeletal muscle function is maintained in humans, despite significant atrophy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Medical physiology
Research Field:Systems physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Edwards, LM (Dr Lindsay Edwards)
ID Code:64492
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:41
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2010-08-05
Last Modified:2015-06-22
Downloads:347 View Download Statistics

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