Changes in Serum Iron and Leukocyte mRNA Levels of Genes Involved in Iron Metabolism in Amateur Marathon Runners-Effect of the Running Pace.


Department of Management in Tourism and Recreation, Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, University of Physical Education and Sport, 80-336 Gdansk, Poland. [Email]


Iron is essential for physical activity due to its role in energy production pathways and oxygen transportation via hemoglobin and myoglobin. Changes in iron-related biochemical parameters after physical exercise in athletes are of substantial research interest, but molecular mechanisms such as gene expression are still rarely tested in sports. In this paper, we evaluated the mRNA levels of genes related to iron metabolism (PCBP1, PCBP2, FTL, FTH, and TFRC) in leukocytes of 24 amateur runners at four time points: before, immediately after, 3 h after, and 24 h after a marathon. We measured blood morphology as well as serum concentrations of iron, ferritin, and C-reactive protein (CRP). Our results showed significant changes in gene expression (except for TFRC), serum iron, CRP, and morphology after the marathon. However, the alterations in mRNA and protein levels occurred at different time points (immediately and 3 h post-run, respectively). The levels of circulating ferritin remained stable, whereas the number of transcripts in leukocytes differed significantly. We also showed that running pace might influence mRNA expression. Our results indicated that changes in the mRNA of genes involved in iron metabolism occurred independently of serum iron and ferritin concentrations.


PCBP1,PCBP2,TFRC,ferritin,gene expression,iron metabolism,marathon runners,

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