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Markers of physiological stress during exercise under conditions of normoxia, normobaric hypoxia, hypobaric hypoxia, and genuine high altitude

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Woods



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Author(s) Purpose: To investigate whether there is a differential response at rest and following exercise to conditions of genuine high altitude (GHA), normobaric hypoxia (NH), hypobaric hypoxia (HH), and normobaric normoxia (NN). Method: Markers of sympathoadrenal and adrenocortical function [plasma normetanephrine (PNORMET), metanephrine (PMET), cortisol], myocardial injury [highly sensitive cardiac troponin T (hscTnT)], and function [N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP)] were evaluated at rest and with exercise under NN, at 3375 m in the Alps (GHA) and at equivalent simulated altitude under NH and HH. Participants cycled for 2 h [15-min warm-up, 105 min at 55% Wmax (maximal workload)] with venous blood samples taken prior (T0), immediately following (T120) and 2-h post-exercise (T240). Results: Exercise in the three hypoxic environments produced a similar pattern of response with the only difference between environments being in relation to PNORMET. Exercise in NN only induced a rise in PNORMET and PMET. Conclusion: Biochemical markers that reflect sympathoadrenal, adrenocortical, and myocardial responses to physiological stress demonstrate significant differences in the response to exercise under conditions of normoxia versus hypoxia, while NH and HH appear to induce broadly similar responses to GHA and may, therefore, be reasonable surrogates.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Woods DR, O'Hara JP, Boos CJ, Hodkinson PD, Tsakirides C, Hill NE, Jose D, Hawkins A, Phillipson K, Hazlerigg A, Arjomandkhah N, Gallagher L, Holdsworth D, Cooke M, Green NDC, Mellor A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Applied Physiology

Year: 2017

Volume: 117

Issue: 5

Pages: 893-900

Print publication date: 01/05/2017

Online publication date: 15/03/2017

Acceptance date: 13/02/2017

Date deposited: 03/05/2017

ISSN (print): 1439-6319

ISSN (electronic): 1439-6327

Publisher: Springer Verlag


DOI: 10.1007/s00421-017-3573-5


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