International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Sep 2021)

Oxidative Stress and Inflammation, MicroRNA, and Hemoglobin Variations after Administration of Oxygen at Different Pressures and Concentrations: A Randomized Trial

  • Gerardo Bosco,
  • Matteo Paganini,
  • Tommaso Antonio Giacon,
  • Alberto Oppio,
  • Alessandra Vezzoli,
  • Cinzia Dellanoce,
  • Tatiana Moro,
  • Antonio Paoli,
  • Federica Zanotti,
  • Barbara Zavan,
  • Costantino Balestra,
  • Simona Mrakic-Sposta

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 18, no. 9755
p. 9755


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Exercise generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), creating a redox imbalance towards oxidation when inadequately intense. Normobaric and hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) breathed while not exercising induces antioxidant enzymes expression, but literature is still poor. Twenty-two athletes were assigned to five groups: controls; 30%, or 50% O2; 100% O2 (HBO) at 1.5 or 2.5 atmosphere absolute (ATA). Twenty treatments were administered on non-training days. Biological samples were collected at T0 (baseline), T1 (end of treatments), and T2 (1 month after) to assess ROS, antioxidant capacity (TAC), lipid peroxidation, redox (amino-thiols) and inflammatory (IL-6, 10, TNF-α) status, renal function (i.e., neopterin), miRNA, and hemoglobin. At T1, O2 mixtures and HBO induced an increase of ROS, lipid peroxidation and decreased TAC, counterbalanced at T2. Furthermore, 50% O2 and HBO treatments determined a reduced state in T2. Neopterin concentration increased at T1 breathing 50% O2 and HBO at 2.5 ATA. The results suggest that 50% O2 treatment determined a reduced state in T2; HBO at 1.5 and 2.5 ATA similarly induced protective mechanisms against ROS, despite the latter could expose the body to higher ROS levels and neopterin concentrations. HBO resulted in increased Hb levels and contributed to immunomodulation by regulating interleukin and miRNA expression.