The generation of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) occurs as a consequence of normal cellular metabolism.  Reactive oxygen is associated with DNA strand breaks and single base modifications (Halliwell and Gutteridge, 1989), the oxidation of amino acid side chains and fragmentation of polypeptides (Levine and Stadtman, 2001), and the degradation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and phospholipids (Bloomer and Goldfarb, 2004).  Many age-related diseases, including atherosclerosis and cancer, are linked to the deleterious accumulation of oxygen free radicals (McCance and Huether, 2002). 

The increase in oxygen uptake during aerobic exercise is accompanied by an elevation in reactive oxygen levels.  However, long-term endurance training effectively reduces the damage associated with increased oxygen uptake by enhancing the body's antioxidant defenses (Venditti and Di Meo, 1997; Powers and Leeuwenburgh, 1999).

Current Research
Dr. Stover's research focuses on the effects of training rigor on cardiovascular function and salivary glutathione concentration.  The hypotheses of the current study are as follows:

1.  Oxidative stress can be induced by acute exercise.

2.  Exercise-induced oxidative stress can be reduced by long-term training.

3.  An upregulation of glutathione expression is responsible for the training effect.

Based on data obtained from bracelet-embedded fitness trackers, subjects are placed into minimum, moderate, and maximum rigor groups.  Heart rate and blood pressure are measured monthly to track cardiovascular function.  Salivary glutathione is assessed monthly by spectrophotometric analysis.

Bloomer, R. and Goldfarb, A.  2004.  Anaerobic exercise and oxidative stress: A review.  Can J Appl Physiol 29(3): 245-263.

Halliwell, B. and Gutteridge, J.  1989.  Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine (2nd ed.).  Oxford University Press, New York. 

Levine, R. and Stadtman, E.  2001.  Oxidative modification of proteins during aging.  Exp Gerentol 36: 1495-1502.

McCance, K. and Huether, S.  2002.  Pathophysiology (4th ed.).  Mosby, St. Louis, MO.

Powers, S. and Leeuwenburgh, C.  1999.  Exercise training-induced alterations in skeletal muscle antioxidant capacity: A brief review.  Med Sci Sports Exerc 31: 987-997.

Venditti, P. and Di Meo, S.  1997.  Effect of training on antioxidant capacity, tissue damage, and endurance in adult male rats.  Int J Sports Med 18: 497-502.

Research equipment was obtained through grants from the West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (WV EPSCoR) and the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE).

Physiology Research Lab
Cory KeeseeCarissa Dunn