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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692


SILVA, Edson da et al. Low-intensity swimming training does not protect the skeletal muscle against exhaustive exercise-induced injuries in rats. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.3, pp.207-211. ISSN 1517-8692.

While regular aerobic exercise promotes beneficial adaptations to the skeletal muscle, acute exhaustive exercise causes structural damage to the skeletal muscle cells. The aim of this study was to verify whether a low-intensity swimming program protects the skeletal muscles against damage induced by exhaustive exercise. Male Wistar rats (weight: 376.50 4.36g; age: 90 days) were randomly divided into four groups: sedentary control (SC, N=8); sedentary submitted to exhaustive test (SE, N=7); swimming trained (TN, N=7); swimming trained submitted to exhaustive test (TNE, N=7). Animals of TN and TNE groups were submitted to a swimming regimen without overload for 90 min/day, 5 days/wk, during 17 weeks. Forty-eight hours after the last training session, animals from SE and TNE groups were submitted to an exhaustive exercise protocol. At sacrifice, fragments of soleus and rectus femoris muscles were collected and submitted to histological analysis and heat shock protein (HSP70) expression measurement. The results showed that the time until exhaustion was greater in the STE than in SE group (125.0 6.00 vs. 90.0 8.48 min, respectively, P<0.05). The levels of blood lactate during exhaustive exercise were lower in animals from TNE than SE (5.31 ± 0.22 vs. 876 ± 0.59 mmol/L, respectively, P<0.05)The frequency of damaged fibers in the muscles was greater in SE (soleus: 34.86±0.04; rectus femoris: 37.57 ± 0.07) and STE (soleus: 41.57±0.08; rectus femoris: 39.57 ± 0.05), compared to groups SC (soleus: 13.88±0.81; rectus femoris: 16.75 ± 0.79) and ST (soleus: 24.14±0.06; rectus femoris: 24.0 ± 0.05), respectively (P<0.05). There was no significant difference at the HSP70 levels of the analyzed muscles among the four groups (P>0.05). In conclusion, although a low-intensity swimming training increased the animals' performance in the exhaustive exercise test, it did not protect their skeletal muscles against damage induced by exhaustive exercise

Keywords : HSP70; physical exercise; muscle damage.

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