Pol Ezquerra Condeminas*, Laura G. Antiga, Jan Borras Ros, Antonio Cardenas, Oriol Sibila, Alexandre Perera-LLuna and Jose Manuel Soria
Objective: Given that endurance exercise can have a huge impact on nonelite athletes, this study set out to analyze differentially expressed genes and pathways before and after a marathon, then subsequently assess which body systems may be deregulated during such activity.
Methods: The study included 60 nonelite athletes (42 men and 18 women) participating in the Barcelona Marathon. Blood samples were extracted at three different time points: before the marathon at baseline levels (START), immediately upon completion (FINISH), and 24 hours after its completion (24REST). Differential gene expression, GO term, and KEGG pathway analyses were conducted on the samples from each of the groups and three different comparisons made: C1 (START vs. FINISH), C2 (FINISH vs. 24REST), and C3 (START vs. 24REST).
Results: The values for differential gene expression, GO terms, and KEGG pathways, respectively, were 9534, 162, and 61 in START vs. FINISH; 9454, 131, and 59 in FINISH vs. 24REST; 454, 14, and 8 in START vs. 24REST. When expression immediately after the marathon (FINISH) was compared with the other two groups (C1 and C2), we observed significant enrichment of terms related to the immune system, mitochondria, inflammatory markers, viral transcription and replication, reactive oxygen species, and lipid metabolism. Furthermore, upon comparing pre-marathon expression with levels 24 hours after its completion, the enriched GO terms were associated with mitochondrial activity, reactive oxygen species, and lipid metabolism.
Conclusion: Performing strenuous exercise deregulated immune system function, inflammatory markers, and mitochondrial terms, introducing a higher risk of infection in the period after the marathon, and it could alter the oxidation environment and lipid metabolism. While gene expression did not fully recovery 24 hours after the race, it was significantly closer to the baseline values than it was immediately after exercising.
Published Date: 2023-03-24; Received Date: 2023-02-20