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Evaluation of the Physiological Challenges in Extreme Environments: Implications for Enhanced Training, Operational Performance and Sex-Specific Responses

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2015,29 Sep 2016

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The University of Montana System Missoula United States

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The specific aim of the first segment of this project series was to determine the potentially deleterious effects of extreme environments on physiological health and protection. Recreationally active males n8 and females n8 completed three randomized and counterbalanced trials across varied recovery environmental conditions normobaric hypoxia, 975 m hypobaric hypoxia, 4420 m and normobaric hypoxia, 4420 m. Exercise was identical for each of the three conditions 60 minutes of cycling at 70 VO2 peak at 975 m. Muscle samples v. lateralis were obtained pre-exercise and 4 hours post exercise for evaluation of gene activation response. Blood samples were obtained pre-exercise and 0, 2, and 4 hours post-exercise for markers of oxidative stress. The blood samples have yet to be fully analyzed. Muscle gene responses to exercise and recovery demonstrated minimal deleterious responses due to altitude exposure. Markers of muscle growth and breakdown were minimally altered by altitude stress. Similarly, oxygen sensingdelivery genes and mitochondrial gene responses were not altered by altitude stress. Moreover, there were no differences across sex. While prior research has clearly demonstrated impairments to performance and altitude oriented losses in skeletal muscle mass and function, the present results from year 1 suggest that an impaired skeletal gene response to altitude can be offset with appropriate exercise intervention. Exercise intervention and appropriate physical training programs may act to minimize expected losses in skeletal muscle health and function during high altitude staging and operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology

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