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Skeletal muscle, haematological and splenic volume characteristics of elite breath-hold divers

Elia, A, Wilson, OJ, Lees, M, Parker, PJ, Barlow, MJ, Cocks, MS and O'Hara, JP (2019) Skeletal muscle, haematological and splenic volume characteristics of elite breath-hold divers. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 119 (11-12). pp. 2499-2511. ISSN 1439-6319

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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of the study was to provide an evaluation of the oxygen transport, exchange and storage capacity of elite breath-hold divers (EBHD) compared with non-divers (ND).
Methods: Twenty-one healthy males’ (11 EBHD; 10 ND) resting splenic volumes were assessed by ultrasound and venous blood drawn for full blood count analysis. Percutaneous skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from the m. vastus lateralis to measure capillarisation, and fibre type-specific localisation and distribution of myoglobin and mitochondrial content using quantitative immunofluorescence microscopy.
Results: Splenic volume was not different between groups. Reticulocytes, red blood cells and haemoglobin concentrations were higher (+ 24%, p < 0.05; + 9%, p < 0.05; + 3%, p < 0.05; respectively) and mean cell volume was lower (− 6.5%, p < 0.05) in the EBHD compared with ND. Haematocrit was not different between groups. Capillary density was greater (+ 19%; p < 0.05) in the EBHD. The diffusion distance (R95) was lower in type I versus type II fibres for both groups (EBHD, p < 0.01; ND, p < 0.001), with a lower R95 for type I fibres in the EBHD versus ND (− 13%, p < 0.05). Myoglobin content was higher in type I than type II fibres in EBHD (+ 27%; p < 0.01) and higher in the type I fibres of EBHD than ND (+ 27%; p < 0.05). No fibre type differences in myoglobin content were observed in ND. Mitochondrial content was higher in type I than type II fibres in EBHD (+ 35%; p < 0.05), with no fibre type differences in ND or between groups.
Conclusions: In conclusion, EBDH demonstrate enhanced oxygen storage in both blood and skeletal muscle and a more efficient oxygen exchange capacity between blood and skeletal muscle versus ND.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sports & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2020 10:08
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2020 10:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s00421-019-04230-6
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12573

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