Could Measurement of Circulating CF n-DNA be a Sensitive Tool for Monitoring Acute Exercise Effects in the Human Body?

Research Paper Title

Repeated bouts of exhaustive exercise increase circulating cell free nuclear and mitochondrial DNA without development of tolerance in healthy men.

Objective

Acute single strenuous exercise increases circulating cell free DNA (cf DNA). The researchers tested whether three repeated bouts of exhaustive exercise induced the cf DNA response without development of tolerance in healthy men.

Methods

Eleven average-trained men (age 34.0±5.2 years, body mass index 26.2±3.1 kg/m2, maximal oxygen consumption—VO2max 49.6±4.5 ml/kg*min) performed three treadmill exercise tests to exhaustion at speed corresponding to 70% VO2max separated by 72 hours of resting. Blood was collected before and after each bout of exercise for determination of cell free nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (cf n-DNA, cf mt-DNA) by real-time PCR, selected markers of muscle damage, and blood cell count.

Results

Each bout induced the increase (p<0.05) in plasma cf n-DNA: from 3.4±1.4 to 38.5±27.5, from 4.1±3.3 to 48.5±26.2, and 3.1±1.6 to 53.8±39.9 ng/mL after the first, second, and third exercise, respectively. In a congruent way, cf mt-DNA rose significantly after the second (from 229±216 to 450±228*103 GE/mL) and third bout of exercise (from 173±120 to 462±314*103 GE/mL).

Pre-exercise cf mt-DNA decreased (p<0.05) by 2-times (from 355±219 before the first bout to 173±120*103 GE/mL before the third bout) over the study period and were accompanied by significant increase in white blood cells, platelets, creatine kinase, creatinine and lactate after each bout. However, the exercise induced percentage increment of cf n-DNA was always many times higher than corresponding increments of the afore-mentioned markers at any occasion.

Conclusions

Repeated bouts of exhaustive exercise induced remarkable increase in circulating cf n-DNA without signs of tolerance development. Baseline cf mt-DNA decreased in response to series of strenuous exercise. Since percentage increments of cf n-DNA in response to exercise were many times higher than those observed for other markers, measurement of circulating cf n-DNA could be a sensitive tool for monitoring acute exercise effects in human body.

Reference

Stawski, R., Walczak, K., Kosielski, P., Meissner, P., Budlewski, T., Padula, G. & Nowak, D. (2017) Repeated bouts of exhaustive exercise increase circulating cell free nuclear and mitochondrial DNA without development of tolerance in healthy men. PLoS One. 12(5): e0178216. Published online 2017 May 24. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178216.

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