Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.
It has been proposed that relative changes of oxygen availability, rather than steady-state hypoxic or hyperoxic conditions, play an important role in hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) transcriptional effects. According to this hypothesis describing the "normobaric oxygen paradox", normoxia following a hyperoxic event is sensed by tissues as an oxygen shortage, upregulating HIF-1 activity. With the aim of confirming, at cellular and at functional level, that normoxia following a hyperoxic event is "interpreted" as a hypoxic event, we report a combination of experiments addressing the effects of an intermittent increase of oxygen concentration on HIF-1 levels and the activity level of specific oxygen-modulated proteins in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells and the effects of hemoglobin levels after intermittent breathing of normobaric high (100%) and low (15%) oxygen in vivo in humans. Our experiments confirm that, during recovery after hyperoxia, an increase of HIF expression occurs in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, associated with an increase of matrix metalloproteinases activity. These data suggest that endothelial cells "interpret" the return to normoxia after hyperoxia as a hypoxic stimulus. At functional level, our data show that breathing both 15 and 100% oxygen 30 min every other day for a period of 10 days induces an increase of hemoglobin levels in humans. This effect was enhanced after the cessation of the oxygen breathing. These results indicate that a sudden decrease in tissue oxygen tension after hyperoxia may act as a trigger for erythropoietin synthesis, thus corroborating the hypothesis that "relative" hypoxia is a potent stimulator of HIF-mediated gene expressions.Read more
We examined whether the improvement of impaired NO-dependent vasorelaxation by exercise training could be mediated through a BH4-dependent mechanism. Male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR, n = 20) and Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY, n = 20) were trained (Tr) for 9 weeks on a treadmill and compared to age-matched sedentary animals (Sed). Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation (EDV) was assessed with acetylcholine by measuring isometric tension in rings of femoral artery precontracted with 10(-5) M phenylephrine. EDV was impaired in SHR-Sed as compared to WKY-Sed (p = 0.02).Read more
BACKGROUND: A novel approach to increasing erythropoietin (EPO) using oxygen (O2) (the 'normobaric oxygen paradox') has been reported in healthy volunteers. We investigated whether the EPO increase is sufficient to induce erythropoiesis by comparing two protocols of O2 administration. METHODS: We compared the effect of daily versus alternate days 100% O2, breathed for 30 minutes, on haemoglobin concentrations during a 12-day period. Nine subjects underwent the two protocols six weeks apart.Read more
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single, shallow, swimming pool scuba dive on pulmonary function in divers with asthma as compared to controls. Opinions concerning the risks of diving with asthma are still contradictory and inconclusive in the diving community.Read more
Background: A novel approach to increasing erythropoietin (EPO) using oxygen (O2) (the 'normobaric oxygen paradox') has been reported in healthy volunteers. We investigated whether the EPO increase is sufficient to induce erythropoiesis by comparing two protocols of O2 administration. Methods: We compared the effect of daily versus alternate days 100% O2, breathed for 30 minutes, on haemoglobin concentrations during a 12-day period. Nine subjects underwent the two protocols six weeks apart.Read more
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