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scientific articles

Muscle Structural, Functional and Energetic Benefits of Endurance Exercise Training in Sickle Cell Disease

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source: American Journal of Hematology

year: 2020

authors: Angèle N Merlet, Léonard Féasson, Pablo Bartolucci, Christophe Hourdé, Céline Schwalm, Barnabas Gellen, Frédéric Galactéros, Louise Deldicque, Marc Francaux , Laurent A Messonnier


Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients display skeletal muscle hypotrophy, altered oxidative capacity, exercise intolerance and poor quality of life. We previously demonstrated that moderate‐intensity endurance training is beneficial for improving muscle function and quality of life of patients. The present study evaluated the effects of this moderate‐intensity endurance training program on skeletal muscle structural and metabolic properties. Of the 40 randomized SCD patients, complete data sets were obtained from 33. The training group (n = 15) followed a personalized moderate‐intensity endurance training program, while the non‐training (n = 18) group maintained a normal lifestyle.

Biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle and submaximal incremental cycling tests were performed before and after the training program. Endurance training increased type I muscle fiber surface area (P = .038), oxidative enzyme activity [citrate synthase, P  < .001; β‐hydroxyacyl‐CoA dehydrogenase, P = .009; type‐I fiber cytochrome c oxidase, P = .042; respiratory chain complex IV, P = .017] and contents of respiratory chain complexes I (P = .049), III (P = .005), IV (P = .003) and V (P = .002).

Respiratory frequency, respiratory exchange ratio, blood lactate concentration and rating of perceived exertion were all lower at a given submaximal power output after training vs non‐training group (all P  < .05). The muscle content of proteins involved in glucose transport and pH regulation were unchanged in the training group relative to the non‐training group. The moderate‐intensity endurance exercise program improved exercise capacity and muscle structural and oxidative properties.

organization: Jean Monnet University, France; Saint-Etienne University Hospital, France; Paris-Est Créteil University, France; Savoie Mont Blanc University, France; Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium; Henri-Mondor Hospital, France

DOI: 10.1002/ajh.25936

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