Training surface and intensity: inflammation, hemolysis, and hepcidin expression

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 May;41(5):1138-45. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318192ce58.


Purpose: This investigation assessed the effects of training intensity and ground surface type on hemolysis, inflammation, and hepcidin activity during running.

Methods: Ten highly trained male endurance athletes completed a graded exercise test, two continuous 10-km runs on a grass (GRASS) and a bitumen road surface (ROAD) at 75%-80% peak VO2 running velocity, and a 10 x 1-km interval running session (INT) at 90%-95% of the peak VO2 running velocity. Venous blood and urine samples were collected before, immediately after, and at 3 and 24 h after exercise. Serum samples were analyzed for circulating levels of IL-6, free hemoglobin (Hb), haptoglobin (Hp), iron, and ferritin. Urine samples were analyzed for changes in hepcidin expression.

Results: After running, the IL-6 and free Hb were significantly greater, and serum Hp was significantly lower than preexercise values in all three conditions (P < 0.05). Furthermore, IL-6 levels and the change in free Hb from baseline were significantly greater in the INT compared with those in the GRASS (P < 0.05). There were no differences between the GRASS and ROAD training surfaces (P > 0.05). Serum iron and ferritin were significantly increased after exercise in all three conditions (P < 0.05) but were not different between trials.

Conclusion: Greater running intensities incur more inflammation and hemolysis, but these variables were not affected by the surface type trained upon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / biosynthesis*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines
  • Exercise Test
  • Hemolysis / immunology*
  • Hepcidins
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Running / physiology
  • Surface Properties*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Cytokines
  • HAMP protein, human
  • Hepcidins