Effects of acute hypoxia tests on blood markers in high-level endurance athletes

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Jul;106(5):713-20. doi: 10.1007/s00421-009-1072-z. Epub 2009 May 10.


The aim of this study was to determine the response of blood markers to acute hypoxia in high-level endurance athletes before training based on "living high-training low" model. Thirty endurance athletes performed a hypoxic cycling test and spent 3 h at rest in a simulated altitude of 3,000 m. At the end of the hypoxic cycling test, the quantity of the natural antisense transcript of HIF-1alpha mRNA (aHIF) transcript increased significantly (+37%, P = 0.024). After 3-h exposure, at a simulated altitude of 3,000 m, the amount of HIF-1alpha mRNA increased significantly (+57%, P = 0.012). Moreover, a large inter-subject range was observed in response to the hypoxic cycling test and to the prolonged hypoxic exposure: -133%/+79% and -82%/+653% for HIF-1alpha mRNA, 69%/+324% and -76%/+229% for aHIF. This study shows a large inter-variability of blood markers in elite athletes in response to acute hypoxic exposure corroborating previous observations made in other populations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arteries / chemistry
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / blood*
  • Hypoxia / genetics
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / genetics
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / metabolism
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • HIF1A protein, human
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit