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Scientific Reports


This study aimed to determine the effect of a single bout of resistance exercise at different intensities on the mobilization of circulating EPCs over 24 hours in women. In addition, the angiogenic factors stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) and erythropoietin (EPO) were measured as potential mechanisms for exercise-induced EPCs mobilization. Thirty-eight women performed a resistance exercise session at an intensity of 60% (n = 13), 70% (n = 12) or 80% (n = 13) of one repetition maximum. Each session was comprised of three sets of 12 repetitions of four exercises: bench press, dumbbell curl, dumbbell squat, and standing dumbbell upright row. Blood was sampled at baseline and immediately, 6 hours, and 24 hours post-exercise. Circulating EPC and levels of VEGF, HIF-1α and EPO were significantly higher after exercise (P < 0.05). The change in EPCs from baseline was greatest in the 80% group (P < 0.05), reaching the highest at 6 hours post-exercise. The change in EPCs from baseline to 6 hours post-exercise was correlated with the change in VEGF (r = 0.492, P = 0.002) and HIF-1α (r = 0.388, P = 0.016). In general, a dose-response relationship was observed, with the highest exercise intensities promoting the highest increases in EPCs and angiogenic factors.



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