Mechanism of free radical production in exhaustive exercise in humans and rats; role of xanthine oxidase and protection by allopurinol

José Viña, Amparo Gimeno, Juan Sastre, Carmen Desco, Miguel Asensi, Federico V. Pallardó, Andrés Cuesta, José Antonio Ferrero, Lance S. Terada, John E. Repine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exhaustive exercise generates free radicals. However, the source of this oxidative damage remains controversial. The aim of this paper was to study further the mechanism of exercise-induced production of free radicals. Testing the hypothesis that xanthine oxidase contributes to the production of free radicals during exercise, we found not only that exercise caused an increase in blood xanthine oxidase activity in rats but also that inhibiting xanthine oxidase with allopurinol prevented exercise-induced oxidation of glutathione in both rats and in humans. Furthermore, inhibiting xanthine oxidase prevented the increases in the plasma activity of cytosolic enzymes (lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, and creatine kinase) seen after exhaustive exercise. Our results provide evidence that xanthine oxidase is responsible for the free radical production and tissue damage during exhaustive exercise. These findings also suggest that mitochondria play a minor role as a source of free radicals during exhaustive physical exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-544
Number of pages6
JournalIUBMB life
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Allopurinol
  • Oxidative stress
  • Physical exercise
  • Xanthine oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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