Plasma Metabolic Profiles Responding to the Early Phase of Altitude Training

GAO Huan1 GAO Bing-hong2 MENG Zhi-jun2

(1.Shanghai Research Institute of Sports Science, Shanghai, China 200030)
(2.Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China 200438)
【Knowledge Link】metabonomics

【Abstract】Purpose: Because of the special environment of the high altitude, the native plain athletes will experience a series of stress responses when they first do altitude training. In this study, with the help of metabonomics technology, we compared and analyzed the changes of athletes’ metabolic function in the early stage of altitude training from two aspects of acute stress response and chronic adaptation. Methods: Totally 16 male elite rowers took part in this study. The 5 mL elbow venous blood was collected respectively before altitude training, on the 4th and the 14th day of annual altitude winter training after adjustment rest. After the plasma was separated, the plasma metabolites were analyzed by LC-MS platform, and the changes of metabolic profile at different time points were compared by PCA and OPLS-DA. Results: 1) Compared with those before altitude training, nearly 80 plasma metabolites changed significantly on the 4th day and the 14th day of altitude training respectively. Compared with those before altitude training, the plasma levels of benzamide and indole-3-acetaldehyde increased by 35 times and 17 times respectively and those of phenylethylamine, phenol, and indole increased by 4–8 times on the 4th day of altitude training,. On the 14th day of altitude training, the levels of plasma benzamide, indole-3-acetaldehyde, phenylethylamine, and indole increased by 2–6 times, while the levels of plasma cholesterol hydroxylated sulfate, tryptophan, and 3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-2-oxypropionic acid decreased by 2–8 times. 2) Compared with that before altitude training, the metabolism of phenylalanine and tryptophan increased significantly on the 4th day of altitude training, while the biosynthesis of phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, and aminoacyl-tRNA increased significantly, but the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids decreased significantly. On the 14th day, the metabolism of phenylalanine and tyrosine increased significantly, while the biosynthesis of phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan and aminoacyl-tRNA increased significantly, and the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids decreased significantly. Compared with those on the 4th day of altitude training, the biosynthesis of aminoacyl-tRNA, valine, leucine and isoleucine increased significantly on the 14th day, while that of unsaturated fatty acids decreased significantly, and the metabolism of arginine and proline increased. Conclusions: During the acute response period of altitude training, benzamide and indole-3-acetaldehyde involved in the regulation of energy metabolism in the central nervous system of elite rowers increased by tens of times at first and then decreased, which may be sensitive markers of metabolic adaptation in the early stage of altitude training. The stress response and adaptation of the central nervous system may play a key role in the metabolic response of athletes in the early stage of altitude training. The metabolism of aromatic and branched-chain amino acids was more active in the early stage of altitude training, while that of unsaturated fatty acids was inhibited. The exact regulation mechanism needs to be further studied.

【Keywords】 altitude training; plasma metabolic profile; elite rower; metabolic function; metabonomics;


【Funds】 Key Project of Preparation for Major Competitions in Shanghai ( 15dz1208001)

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(Translated by PXJ1)


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This Article


CN: 11-3785/G8

Vol 41, No. 12, Pages 79-84+90

December 2018


Article Outline



  • 1 Research subjects and methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussion
  • 4 Conclusions
  • References