Effects of an 8-weeks erythropoietin treatment on mitochondrial and whole body fat oxidation capacity during exercise in healthy males

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Abstract The present investigation was performed to elucidate if the non-erythropoietic ergogenic effect of a recombinant erythropoietin treatment results in an impact on skeletal muscle mitochondrial and whole body fatty acid oxidation capacity during exercise, myoglobin concentration and angiogenesis. Recombinant erythropoietin was administered by subcutaneous injections (5000 IU) in six healthy male volunteers (aged 21 ± 2 years; fat mass 18.5 ± 2.3%) over 8 weeks. The participants performed two graded cycle ergometer exercise tests before and after the intervention where VO2max and maximal fat oxidation were measured. Biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle were obtained before and after the intervention. Recombinant erythropoietin treatment increased mitochondrial O2 flux during ADP stimulated state 3 respiration in the presence of complex I and II substrates (malate, glutamate, pyruvate, succinate) with additional electron input from β-oxidation (octanoylcarnitine) (from 60 ± 13 to 87 ± 24 pmol · s(-1) · mg(-1) P < 0.01). β-hydroxy-acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase activity was higher after treatment (P < 0.05), whereas citrate synthase activity also tended to increase (P = 0.06). Total myoglobin increased by 16.5% (P < 0.05). Capillaries per muscle area tended to increase (P = 0.07), whereas capillaries per fibre as well as the total expression of vascular endothelial growth factor remained unchanged. Whole body maximal fat oxidation was not increased after treatment. Eight weeks of recombinant erythropoietin treatment increases mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation capacity and myoglobin concentration without any effect on whole body maximal fat oxidation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)570-8
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 132011254