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Oxidative stress in breath-hold divers after repetitive dives
Theunissen, S.; Sponsiello, N.; Rozloznik, M.; Germonpre, P.; Guerrero, F.; Cialoni, D.; Balestra, C. (2013). Oxidative stress in breath-hold divers after repetitive dives. Diving Hyperb. Med. 43(2): 63-66
In: Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society: Melbourne. ISSN 1833-3516, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 257905 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Freediving; breath-hold diving; hyperoxia; free radicals; nitric oxide;exercise

Authors  Top 
  • Theunissen, S., more
  • Sponsiello, N., more
  • Rozloznik, M., more
  • Germonpre, P., more
  • Guerrero, F.
  • Cialoni, D., more
  • Balestra, C., more

    Introduction: Hyperoxia causes oxidative stress. Breath-hold diving is associated with transient hyperoxia followed by hypoxia and a build-up of carbon dioxide (CO2), chest-wall compression and significant haemodynamic changes. This study analyses variations in plasma oxidative stress markers after a series of repetitive breath-hold dives.Methods: Thirteen breath-hold divers were asked to perform repetitive breath-hold dives to 20 metres’ depth to a cumulative breath-hold time of approximately 20 minutes over an hour in the open sea. Plasma nitric oxide (NO), peroxinitrites (ONOO–) and thiols (R-SH) were measured before and after the dive sequence.Results: Circulating NO significantly increased after successive breath-hold dives (169.1 ± 58.26% of pre-dive values; P = 0.0002). Peroxinitrites doubled after the dives (207.2 ± 78.31% of pre-dive values; P = 0.0012). Thiols were significantly reduced (69.88 ± 19.23% of pre-dive values; P = 0.0002).Conclusion: NO may be produced by physical effort during breath-hold diving. Physical exercise, the transient hyperoxia followed by hypoxia and CO2 accumulation would all contribute to the increased levels of superoxide anions (O2 2–). Since interaction of O2 2– with NO forms ONOO–, this reaction is favoured and the production of thiol groups is reduced. Oxidative stress is, thus, present in breath-hold diving.

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