Plasma nitrite/nitrate and erythropoietin levels in cross-country skiers during altitude training

F. Schena, L. Cuzzolin, L. Rossi, M. Pasetto, G. Benoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of training at altitude on plasma nitrite/nitrate and erythropoietin levels since previously it has been reported an interaction of the NO/cGMP system in erythropoietin production. Methods. Nine physically trained cross-country male skiers, usually living at 800-1200 m altitude, underwent 6 days of intensive training at a moderate altitude of 3100 m preceeded by 2 days of acclimatisation. Six team-managers, selected as controls, did not undergo any regular physical activity in the last 5 years and during the altitude period. Haematological parameters, erythropoietin and nitrite/nitrate were measured prior to reach the place at altitude, at the end of the period at moderate altitude and 7 days after returning at home. Results. Haematocrit significantly increased in controls after 8 days at altitude. Erythropoietin levels significantly increased after the intensive altitude training only in trained subjects (13.1±1.7 vs 6.7±1.7 mU·ml-1, p-1, p-1). Conclusions. In our experimental conditions we demonstrated the influence of hypoxia on Epo levels in athletes sustaining a short-term training and the role of a regular physical activity (partly independent from altitude hypoxia) on NO production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Anoxia
  • Erythropoiesis
  • Exercise
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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