Vascular endothelial growth factor in exercising humans under different environmental conditions

Hanns Christian Gunga*, Karl Kirsch, Lothar Röcker, Claus Behn, Eberhard Koralewski, Eliseo Hibert Davila, Manuel Ivan Estrada, Bernd Johannes, Peter Wittels, Wolfgang Jelkmann

*Corresponding author for this work
38 Citations (Scopus)


It was the aim of this study to investigate the time course of changes in the serum concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) during a regular survival training programme combined with food and fluid deprivation and during a high altitude marathon run. We studied soldiers of the Austrian Special Forces performing survival training at sea-level and marathon runners of the Posta Atletica who crossed the border between Chile and Argentina at altitudes up to 4722 m. Baseline data collected before the 1-week of survival training showed that the soldiers had normal VEGF [n = 8, 246.7 (SD 118.5) pg·ml-1] serum concentrations which remained unchanged during the course of the study. Before the high altitude marathon the subjects showed normal VEGF serum concentrations [178 (SD 84.5)]. After the run VEGF concentrations were found to be significantly decreased [41.0 (SD 41.6) pg·ml-1, P < 0.01]. It was concluded that prolonged physical stress during normobaric-normoxia did not alter the VEGF concentrations whereas during severe hypobaric-hypoxia decreased VEGF serum concentrations were measured, at least temporarily, after prolonged physical exercise which might have been due to changes in production, release, removal and/or binding of circulating VEGF.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)484-490
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 05.1999

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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