The antioxidant enzyme peroxiredoxin-2 is depleted in lymphocytes seven days after ultra-endurance exercise

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PURPOSE: Peroxiredoxin-2 (PRDX-2) is an antioxidant and chaperone-like protein critical for cell function. This study examined whether the levels of lymphocyte PRDX-2 are altered over 1 month following ultra-endurance exercise.

METHODS: Nine middle-aged men undertook a single-stage, multi-day 233 km (145 mile) ultra-endurance running race. Blood was collected immediately before (Pre), upon completion/retirement (Post), and following the race at Day 1, Day 7 and Day 28. Lymphocyte lysates were examined for PRDX-2 by reducing and non-reducing SDS-PAGE with western blotting. In a sub-group of men who completed the race (n = 4), PRDX-2 oligomeric state (indicative of redox status) was investigated.

RESULTS: Ultra-endurance exercise caused significant changes in lymphocyte PRDX-2 (F(4,32) 3.409, p = 0.020, η(2) = 0.299): 7 days after the race, PRDX-2 levels in lymphocytes had fallen to 30% of pre-race values (p = 0.013) and returned to near-normal levels at Day 28. Non-reducing gels demonstrated that dimeric PRDX-2 (intracellular reduced PRDX-2 monomers) was increased in three of four race completers immediately post-race, indicative of an 'antioxidant response'. Moreover, monomeric PRDX-2 was also increased immediately post-race in two of four race-completing subjects, indicative of oxidative damage, which was not detectable by Day 7.

CONCLUSIONS: Lymphocyte PRDX-2 was decreased below normal levels 7 days after ultra-endurance exercise. Excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species induced by ultra-endurance exercise may underlie depletion of lymphocyte PRDX-2 by triggering its turnover after oxidation. Low levels of lymphocyte PRDX-2 could influence cell function and might, in part, explain reports of dysregulated immunity following ultra-endurance exercise.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-8
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Exercise, Humans, Lymphocytes, Male, Middle Aged, Oxidative Stress, Peroxiredoxins, Physical Endurance