Muscle soreness-induced reduction in force generation is accompanied by increased nitric oxide content and DNA damage in human skeletal muscle

Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 Apr;26(7-8):1059-63. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(98)00309-8.


We examined the effect of exercise-induced muscle soreness on maximal force generation, tissue nitric oxide (NO) and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) content in human skeletal muscle. Female volunteers were assigned to control (C) and muscle soreness (MS) groups (n = 6 in each). MS group performed 200 eccentric muscle actions of the rectus femoris to induce muscle soreness. Maximal force generation was measured 24 h before and after exercise in both groups. Needle biopsy samples were assayed for NO content with electron spin resonance spectroscopy after ex vivo spin trapping, and 8-OHdG content were measured with an enzyme-linked immuno assay. Maximal force decreased by 11+/-5.4% (p < .05) 24 h after exercise in MS group. Muscle soreness increased NO and 8-OHdG contents from their control values of 0.39+/-0.08 arbitrary units and 0.035+/-0.004 pmol/micromol DNA to 0.96+/-0.05 (p < .05) arbitrary units and 0.044+/-0.005 (p < .05) pmol/micromol DNA, respectively. This is the first demonstration that muscle soreness-induced decrease in maximal force generation is a result of an increase in muscular NO content and associated with enhanced formation of 8-OHdG in human skeletal muscle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Adult
  • DNA Damage*
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyguanosine / analysis
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / physiopathology*


  • Nitric Oxide
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Deoxyguanosine