Different effects of strenuous eccentric exercise on the accumulation of neutrophils in muscle in women and men

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000 Jan;81(1-2):47-53. doi: 10.1007/PL00013796.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sex differences in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), torque, and accumulation of technetium-99m (Tc-99m) neutrophils in eccentric-exercised muscle. A group of 10 female and 12 male subjects took part in this study. The subjects completed a pre-test using the descriptor differential scale (DDS) to describe DOMS, and tests of concentric and eccentric torque of the right quadriceps. A volume of 100 ml of blood was taken by venipuncture for neutrophil labelling in the early morning of the exercise day. The Tc-99m neutrophils were re-infused intravenously before the eccentric exercise. The exercise stimulus consisted of 300 eccentric repetitions of the right quadriceps muscles. Radionuclide images of both quadriceps muscles (lateral views) were taken at 2 and 4 h. The DDS, and concentric and eccentric torques of the quadriceps were subsequently evaluated at 0 h, 2, 4, 20 and 24 h post-exercise. The presence of Tc-99m neutrophils was greater in the exercised leg than the non-exercised leg at 2 and 4 h post-exercise (P </= 0.013) and greater in the exercised leg of the women compared to the men at 2 h (P = 0.03). The DOMS had increased post-exercise (P < 0.001) and torque had decreased post-exercise (P </= 0.002) but the patterns were different between the sexes. We concluded that the sex influences the presence of Tc-99m neutrophils in the exercised muscle following eccentric exercise. In addition, different patterns of DOMS and torque were observed between the sexes after eccentric exercise, and require further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Neutrophils / cytology*
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Reaction Time
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Technetium / pharmacokinetics
  • Torque


  • Technetium