Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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 (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging, we investigated skeletal muscle energetics and morphology after exposure to hypobaric hypoxia in seven altitude-naïve 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 cm(2), 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.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0010681

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

19/05/2010

Volume

5

Keywords

Adult, Altitude, Energy Metabolism, Exercise, Expeditions, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Kinetics, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Middle Aged, Mountaineering, Muscle, Skeletal, Phosphocreatine, Young Adult