The effect of aerobic walking and lower body resistance exercise on serum COMP and hyaluronan, in both males and females
To compare the serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) and hyaluronan (HA) response to walking (high-repetition loading) and resistance training exercise (low-repetition loading) in males and females.
15 males (age: 28 ± 6 years; BMI: 24 ± 2; mean ± SD) and 15 females (age: 26 ± 4 years; BMI: 23 ± 2) completed both a 40-min walk at 80% of maximum heart rate and a 40-min lower body resistance training protocol, separated by a minimum of 48 h. Serum COMP and HA were determined at rest, immediately post, and 30-min post exercise. Resting femoral cartilage thickness was also measured using ultrasonography.
COMP increased following walking (28.9%; P < 0.001) and resistance training exercise (26.0%; P < 0.001), remaining above baseline post-exercise following walking (mean difference: +28.3 ng/ml; 95% CI 3.8–52.8 ng/ml; P = 0.02). Although the exercise response did not differ for gender, COMP concentrations were higher in males than in females at all time points (all, P < 0.001). In contrast, HA concentrations did not change following either modality of exercise. However, females demonstrated higher HA pre-exercise (37.7 ± 17.8 vs 26.2 ± 12.8 ng/ml; P = 0.006) and immediately post exercise (38.0 ± 19.0 vs 28.2 ± 15.5 ng/ml; P = 0.033) compared to men. Finally, following adjustment for body size, femoral cartilage thickness was greater in men compared to women (notch: 2.66 vs 1.74 mm, P < 0.001).
The effect of a single bout of lower body exercise on serum COMP and HA is independent of exercise modality in healthy men and women. Furthermore, having thicker femoral cartilage and higher baseline COMP in males does not appear to influence how the cartilage responds to exercise.
KeywordsJoint loading Ultrasound Femoral cartilage thickness Cartilage metabolism
Body mass index
Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
Maximum heart rate
Maximum oxygen uptake
The authors thank all the participants who volunteered for this study.
Author contribution statement
HR, JT and JM conceived and designed study; HR collected raw data, and completed the preparation and analyses of blood samples; HR completed all data analyses; HR, JT and JM discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors disclose that no funding was received for this work and have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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