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Impact of High-Intensity Exercise on Nitric Oxide Exchange in Healthy Adults



After exercise, exhaled NO concentration has been reported to decrease, remain unchanged, or increase. A more mechanistic understanding of NO exchange dynamics after exercise is needed to understand the relationship between exercise and NO exchange.


We measured several flow-independent NO exchange parameters characteristic of airway and alveolar regions using a single breath maneuver and a two-compartment model (maximum flux of NO from the airways, J'(awNO), pL x s-1; diffusing capacity of NO in the airways, D(awNO), pL x s-1 x ppb-1; steady state alveolar concentration, C(alv,ss), ppb; mean airway tissue NO concentration, C(awNO), ppb), as well as serum IL-6 at baseline, 3, 30, and 120 min after a high-intensity exercise challenge in 10 healthy adults (21-37 yr old).


D(awNO) (mean +/- SD) increased (37.1 +/- 44.4%), whereas J'(awNO) and C(awNO) decreased (-7.27 +/- 11.1%, -26.1 +/- 24.6%, respectively) 3 min postexercise. IL-6 increased steadily after exercise to 481% +/- 562% above baseline 120 min postexercise.


High-intensity exercise acutely enhances the ability of NO to diffuse between the airway tissue and the gas phase, and exhaled NO might be used to probe both the metabolic and physical properties of the airways.

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