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Effects of scuba diving on vascular repair mechanisms
Culic, C; Van Craenenbroeck, E.; Muzinic, R; Ljubkovic, M; Marinovic, J; Conraads, V.; Dujic, Z (2014). Effects of scuba diving on vascular repair mechanisms. Undersea Hyperb. Med. 41(2): 97-104
In: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. The Society: Bethesda, Md.. ISSN 1066-2936
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Culic, C
  • Van Craenenbroeck, E.
  • Muzinic, R
  • Ljubkovic, M
  • Marinovic, J
  • Conraads, V.
  • Dujic, Z

Abstract
    A single air dive causes transient endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and circulating angiogenic cells (CAC) contribute synergistically to endothelial repair. In this study (1) the acute effects of diving on EPC numbers and CAC migration and (2) the influence of the gas mixture (air/nitrox-36) was investigated. Ten divers performed two dives to 18 meters on Day (D) 1 and D3, using air. After 15 days, dives were repeated with nitrox-36. Blood sampling took place before and immediately after diving. Circulating EPCs were quantified by flow cytometry, CAC migration of culture was assessed on D7. When diving on air, a trend for reduced EPC numbers is observed post-dive, which is persistent on D1 and D3. CAC migration tends to improve acutely following diving. These effects are more pronounced with nitrox-36 dives. Diving acutely affects EPC numbers and CAC function, and to a larger extent when diving with nitrox-36. The diving-induced oxidative stress may influence recruitment or survival of EPC. The functional improvement of CAC could be a compensatory mechanism to maintain endothelial homeostasis.

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