Science Current Events | Science News |

Regular exercise could reduce complications of sickle cell trait

April 26, 2012
Reducing oxidative stress through exercise may eventually be used to treat sickle cell disease

SAN DIEGO-Sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited condition that causes red blood cells to sometimes deform into a crescent shape, affects an estimated 100,000 Americans, typically those of African descent. However, far more have sickle cell trait (SCT), caused when individuals carry just a single copy of the disease-causing mutation in their genes. Rather than all their red blood cells being affected, those with SCT carry a mix of affected red blood cells and normal ones. Previously, researchers and physicians had assumed that those with SCT were immune from the increased burden of sickness and death that those with SCD carry. However, recent research suggests that the same morbidity and mortality that follow SCD patients at an increased rate also affect those with SCT to a lesser extent.

Nearly all these adverse effects are consequences of oxidative stress, a condition in which free radicals overwhelm the body's natural antioxidants. In healthy individuals, oxidative stress has been linked with conditions including cancer, heart disease, and simply aging; in sickle cell disease patients, oxidative stress is thought to play a role in causing the inflammation, problem with the linings of blood vessels, and blood cell blockages that cause complications from this disease.

However, scientists have long known that exercise increases the level of antioxidants present in the body, defending against oxidative stress. In a new study, researchers compare the effects of exhaustive exercise on people with SCT who exercise regularly with those who don't. They found that training regularly seems to offset the burden of exhaustive exercise by lowering the levels of molecules associated with oxidative stress, increasing antioxidant molecules, and increasing nitric oxide, a molecule important for opening blood vessels which could play a role in preventing the blood vessel occlusion that sometimes occurs in SCD and SCT.

The study is the result of efforts undertaken by Vincent Pialoux, Erica N. Chirico, Camille Faes, Emeline Aufradet, and Cyril Martin of the University Lyon I, Leonard Feasson of the University of Saint-Etienne, and Laurent Messonnier of the University of Savoie. An abstract of their study entitled, "Physical Activity Blunts Oxidative Stress Reponse to Exercise in Sickle Cell Trait Carriers," will be discussed at the meeting Experimental Biology 2012, being held April 21-25 at the San Diego Convention Center. The abstract is sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS), one of six scientific societies sponsoring the conference which last year attracted some 14,000 attendees.

Training Reduces Oxidative Stress

Dr. Pialoux, who led the study, and his French colleagues collaborated with colleagues at the University of Yaounde I in Yaounde, Cameroon, where the rate of SCD and SCT is significantly higher than in France. The researchers recruited 18 volunteers with SCT and 22 others without this trait. Each group was further subdivided into those who had exercised consistently for several years by playing soccer for at least eight hours per week and those who considered themselves sedentary for at least the last two years.

Each volunteer's blood was tested for the presence of molecules that signal oxidative stress, others that act as antioxidants, and nitric oxide metabolites. These volunteers then pedaled on a stationary bicycle, with the researchers ratcheting up the workout's intensity every few minutes until the volunteers bowed out from exhaustion. After the workout, the researchers tested the volunteers' blood again at regular intervals to assess the same molecules.

Results showed that well-trained volunteers with SCT had significantly lower levels of molecules associated with oxidative stress, higher levels of antioxidant molecules, and higher levels of nitric oxide metabolites than untrained volunteers with SCT.

Results Could Apply to SCD

These results suggest that regular exercise might help combat the problems likely caused by oxidative stress that increase morbidity and mortality in people with SCT, Pialoux says. "In this population, regular physical activity might be seen as a treatment," he adds.

The findings could hold promise for patients with SCD as well, he says. Since exercise is known to trigger the painful and damaging episodes known as sickle cell crisis, in which large red blood cells become sickled and block blood vessels, doctors often advise SCD patients to avoid exercise. However, if these patients exercise regularly and become trained over time, the associated reduction in oxidative stress might improve their condition, Pialoux explains.

"We think that regular physical exercise that's controlled by a physician and performed at low intensity could be a strategy to limit the disease burden in SCD patients," he says. He and his colleagues are currently testing this strategy in animal models of the disease, with plans to eventually test human subjects.

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related Oxidative Stress Current Events and Oxidative Stress News Articles

Endoplasmic reticulum stress plays significant role in type 2 diabetes
A new research report published in the October 2015 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, suggests that the endoplasmic reticulum plays a more important role in type 2 diabetes and its complications than previously believed.

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders
First-trimester ultrasound scanning to pinpoint placental vascular disorders may be used to identify women at risk of developing serious obstetric complications. A new study in The American Journal of Pathology finds that patients with the highest degree of uterine artery blood flow resistance have an almost five-fold increased chance of developing preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, or stillbirth than other pregnant women.

Long sleep and high blood copper levels go hand in hand
Persons sleeping less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours suffer from low-grade inflammation more often than persons sleeping 7-8 hours per night.

UGA microbiologists describe new insights into human neurodegenerative disease
Microbiology researchers at the University of Georgia studying a soil bacterium have identified a potential mechanism for neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers identify mechanism that impairs blood flow with aging
With the world's elderly population expected to double by 2050, understanding how aging affects the body is an important focus for researchers globally.

Coffee consumption habits impact the risk of mild cognitive impairment
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia.

UTMB study uncovers mechanism responsible for pollen-induced allergies
A new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered a mechanism that is central to becoming allergic to ragweed pollen and developing allergic asthma or seasonal nasal allergies.

Blood vessels can actually get better with age
Although the causes of many age-related diseases remain unknown, oxidative stress is thought to be the main culprit.

New study: Tart cherry juice reduced post-race respiratory tract symptoms after a marathon
While previous research suggests tart cherry juice may help aid muscle recovery after extensive exercise, a new pilot study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced upper respiratory tract symptoms associated with marathon running in study participants.

What is the role of the gut microbiome in developing Parkinson's disease?
In recent years, an important Parkinson's disease (PD) research focus has been on gut-related pathology, pathophysiology, and symptoms. Gastrointestinal dysfunction, in particular constipation, affects up to 80% of PD patients and idiopathic constipation is one of the strongest risk-factors for PD.
More Oxidative Stress Current Events and Oxidative Stress News Articles

Studies on Experimental Toxicology and Pharmacology (Oxidative Stress in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice)

Studies on Experimental Toxicology and Pharmacology (Oxidative Stress in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice)
by Stephen M. Roberts (Editor), James P. Kehrer (Editor), Lars-Oliver Klotz (Editor)

This book focuses on data describing the roles of free radicals and related reactive species, and antioxidants, in the causes and treatments of diseases, examining both clinical and pre-clinical trials, as well as basic research. The book is divided into sub-sections with chapters on toxicological mechanisms, agents that produce toxicity, and special topics including areas such as antioxidant supplements, oxygen toxicity, toxicogenomics, and marine biology.Studies on Experimental Toxicology and Pharmacology promotes the concept of using biomarkers of free radical- and reactive species-induced injury as adjuncts to classical laboratory testing and the ability of antioxidants to provide cellular protection. There is increasing evidence that free radicals and other reactive species are...

Oxidative Stress: What is Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative Stress: What is Oxidative Stress?
by Matthew Jordan (Author)

The term oxidative stress has been linked to multiple diseases and aging. Oxidative stress and managing free radicals through antioxidants has also become big business and it is important that consumers educate themselves on effective oxidative stress management. This book will provide a simple definition of oxidative stress along with sources of oxidative stress management.

Molecular Basis of Oxidative Stress: Chemistry, Mechanisms, and Disease Pathogenesis

Molecular Basis of Oxidative Stress: Chemistry, Mechanisms, and Disease Pathogenesis
by Frederick A. Villamena (Author)

Focusing on the molecular and chemical bases of oxidative stress, which can cause cancer as well as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, Molecular Basis of Oxidate Stress discusses the role of free radicals in disease, diagnosis, and therapeutics. Written by recognized leaders in the field, the book provides in-depth knowledge about the mechanisms of oxidative stress and damage, free radical chemistry, and the role of free radicals in disease, diagnosis, and therapeutics.

Oxidative Stress,  Inflammation, and Health (Oxidative Stress and Disease)

Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Health (Oxidative Stress and Disease)
by Young-Joon Surh (Editor)

Specifically focusing on the redox regulation of cell signaling responsible for oxidative stress and inflammatory tissue damage, this reference provides a comprehensive overview of cutting-edge research on the intracellular events mediating or preventing oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory processes induced by endogenous and xenobiotic factors-analyzing the implications of oxidative stress and inflammatory damage in the pathogenesis of human disorders such as cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and diabetes.

Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine

Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine
by Barry Halliwell (Author), John Gutteridge (Author)

Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine has become a classic text in the field of free radical and antioxidant research since its first publication in 1985.

This latest edition has been comprehensively rewritten and updated (over 80% of the text is new), while maintaining the clarity of its predecessor. There is expanded coverage of isoprostanes and related compounds, mechanisms of oxidative damage to DNA and proteins (and the repair of such damage), the free radical theory of aging and the roles played by reactive species in signal transduction, cell death, human reproduction, and other important biological events. Greater emphasis has also been placed on the methods available to measure reactive species and oxidative damage (and their potential pitfalls), as well as the importance...

Oxidative Stress and Neurodegenerative Disorders

Oxidative Stress and Neurodegenerative Disorders
by G. Ali Qureshi (Editor), S. Hasan Parvez (Editor)

Oxidative stress is the result of an imbalance in pro-oxidant/antioxidant homeostasis that leads to the generation of toxic reactive oxygen species. Brain cells are continuously exposed to reactive oxygen species generated by oxidative metabolism, and in certain pathological conditions defense mechanisms against oxygen radicals may be weakened and/or overwhelmed. DNA is a potential target for oxidative damage, and genomic damage can contribute to neuropathogenesis. It is important therefore to identify tools for the quantitative analysis of DNA damage in models on neurological disorders. This book presents detailed information on various neurodegenerative disorders and their connection with oxidative stress. This information will provide clinicians with directions to treat these disorders...

Inflammation, Lifestyle and Chronic Diseases: The Silent Link (Oxidative Stress and Disease)

Inflammation, Lifestyle and Chronic Diseases: The Silent Link (Oxidative Stress and Disease)
by Bharat B. Aggarwal (Editor), Sunil Krishnan (Editor), Sushovan Guha (Editor)

Oxidative stress and inflammation are among the most important factors of disease. Chronic infections, obesity, alcohol and tobacco usage, radiation, environmental pollutants, and high-calorie diets have been recognized as major risk factors for a variety of chronic diseases from cancer to metabolic diseases. All these risk factors are linked to chronic diseases through inflammation. While short-term, acute inflammation generated by the immune system serves a therapeutic role, chronic low-level inflammation that may persist "silently" for decades is responsible for chronic diseases. Inflammation, Lifestyle, and Chronic Diseases: The Silent Link describes the role of dysregulated inflammation in persistent and recurring diseases. It investigates links to lifestyle and presents research on...

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome
by James Wilson (Author), Jonathan V Wright (Foreword)

This is an incredibly informative and reader-friendly book about a common debilitating medical condition that goes largely undiagnosed and untreated. ADRENAL FATIGUE: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome is a very empowering work cram-packed with vital information about a condition that very likely affects millions of people.

Hormesis in Health and Disease (Oxidative Stress and Disease)

Hormesis in Health and Disease (Oxidative Stress and Disease)
by Suresh I. S. Rattan (Editor), √Čric Le Bourg (Editor)

Some mild stresses have positive effects on survival and aging as shown in animal models. There is also a large body of research that demonstrates these hormetic effects on aging, health, and resistance to severe stresses and diseases in human beings. However, the data are dispersed in the literature and are not always interpreted as hormetic effects. Hormesis in Health and Disease reviews the evidence for hormesis in humans as achieved through a variety of stresses or stimuli, and discusses mechanisms of hormesis and its ethical and legal issues.

Divided into four sections, this book presents the current state of research, including questions, debates, doubts, and controversies in hormesis. Section I covers the history and terminology of hormesis, describing its main features and...

An Introduction to Vitamins, Minerals and Oxidative Stress: The Role of Micronutrients and Reactive Oxygen Species in Normal and Pathological Processes

An Introduction to Vitamins, Minerals and Oxidative Stress: The Role of Micronutrients and Reactive Oxygen Species in Normal and Pathological Processes
by Stefan A. Hulea (Author)

This book presents in simple and concise terms the biological functions of vitamins and minerals, what makes them essential to life and why they must be replenished daily from food. The best food sources for these micronutrients and the daily recommended intakes of vitamins and minerals are also presented. Information on these important micronutrients is all presented in one place (Part I) as opposed to the current text books where it is scattered throughout the text, making its retrieval tedious and time-consuming. In addition, the trace elements get an adequate coverage in contrast to the current texts. The second part introduces the reader to the concept of oxidative stress and the role of free radicals (mainly of oxygen and nitrogen) in the regulation of several biological processes...

© 2015