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Vincent L.,University of Savoy | Vincent L.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Feasson L.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Feasson L.,Jean Monnet University | And 15 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology

The influence of sickle cell trait and/or α-thalassemia on skeletal muscle microvascular network characteristics was assessed and compared with control subjects [hemoglobin (Hb) AA] in 30 Cameroonian residents [10 HbAA, 5 HbAA α-thalassemia (α-t), 6 HbAS, and 9 HbASα-t] matched for maximal work capacity and daily energy expenditure. Subjects performed an incremental exercise to exhaustion and underwent a muscle biopsy. Muscle fiber type and surface area were not different among groups. However, sickle cell trait (SCT) was associated with lower capillary density (P < 0.05), lower capillary tortuosity (P < 0.001), and enlarged microvessels (P < 0.01). SCT carriers had reduced counts of microvessels <5-μm diameter, but a higher percentage of broader microvessels, i.e., diameter >10 μm (P < 0.05). α-Thalassemia seemed to be characterized by a higher capillary tortuosity and unchanged capillary density and diameter. Thus, while SCT is a priori clinically benign, we demonstrate for the first time that significant remodeling of the microvasculature occurs in SCT carriers. These modifications may possibly reflect protective adaptations against hemorheological and microcirculatory dysfunction induced by the presence of HbS. The remodeling of the microvascular network occurs to a lesser extent in α-thalassemia. In α-thalassemic subjects, increased capillary tortuosity would promote oxygen supply to muscle tissues and might compensate for the lower Hb content often reported in those subjects. Copyright © 2010 the American Physiological Society. Source

Vincent L.,University of Savoy | Vincent L.,Jean Monnet University | Oyono-Enguelle S.,University of Yaounde I | Feasson L.,Jean Monnet University | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Applied Physiology

To assess the effects of regular physical activity on muscle functional characteristics of carriers of sickle cell trait (SCT), 39 untrained (U) and trained (T) hemoglobin (Hb)AA (CON) and SCT subjects (U-CON, n = 12; U-SCT, n = 8; T-CON, n = 10; and T-SCT, n = 9) performed a graded exercise and a time to exhaustion (Tex) test, and were subjected to a muscle biopsy. Maximal power, total work performed during Tex, citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activities, respiratory chain complexes I and IV content, and capillary density (CD), diameter (COD), and surface area (CSA) were upregulated by the same proportion in T-CON and T-SCT compared with their untrained counterparts. These proportionally similar differences imply that the observed discrepancies between U-SCT and U-CON remained in the trained subjects. Specifically, both CD and COX remained and tended to remain lower, and both COD and CSA remained and tended to remain higher in T-SCT than in T-CON. Besides, carriers of SCT displayed specific adaptations with regular physical activity: creatine kinase activity; complexes II, III, and V content; and type I fiber surface area and capillary tortuosity were lower or unchanged in T-SCT than in U-SCT. In summary, our results show that 1) carriers of SCT adapted almost similarly to CON to regular physical activity for most of the studied muscle characteristics, 2) oxidative potential remains altered in physically active carriers of SCT compared with HbAA counterparts, and 3) the specific remodeling of muscle microvascular network persists in the trained state. Copyright © 2012 the American Physiological Society. Source

Vincent L.,University of Savoy | Feasson L.,Jean Monnet University | Oyono-Enguelle S.,University of Yaounde I | Banimbek V.,University of Yaounde I | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Applied Physiology

Previous studies have shown that subjects with sickle cell trait (SCT), α-thalassemia (α-t), and the dual hemoglobinopathy (SCT/α-t) manifest subtle, albeit significant, differences during exercise. To better understand such differences, we assessed skeletal muscle histomorphological and energetic characteristics in 10 control HbAA subjects (C), 5 subjects with α-t (α-t), 6 SCT carriers (SCT) and 9 SCT carriers with α-t (SCT/α-t). Subjects underwent a muscle biopsy and also performed an incremental maximal exercise and a time to exhaustion test. There were no observable differences in daily energy expenditure, maximal power output (P max), or time to exhaustion at 110% Pmax (Tex) among the groups. Blood lactate concentrations measured at the end of the T ex, muscle fiber type distribution, and mean phosphofructokinase (PFK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), β-hydroxyacyl-CoA-dehydrogenase (HAD), and citrate synthase (CS) activities were all similar among the four groups. However, SCT was associated with a lower cytochrome-c oxidase (COx) activity in type IIa fibers (P < 0.05), and similar trends were observed in fiber types I and IIx. Trends toward lower creatine kinase (CK) activity (P = 0.0702) and higher surface area of type IIx fibers were observed in SCT (P = 0.0925). In summary, these findings support most of the previous observations in SCT, such as 1) similar maximal power output and associated maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) values and 2) lower exercise performances during prolonged submaximal exercise. Furthermore, performances during short supramaximal exercise were not different in SCT. Finally, the dual hemoglobinopathy condition does not seem to affect muscle characteristics. Copyright© 2010 the American Physiological Society. Source

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