The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The effect of high-altitude on human skeletal muscle energetics: P-MRS results from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest expedition

Edwards, Lindsay M., Murray, Andrew J., Tyler, Damian J., Kemp, Graham J., Holloway, Cameron J., Robbins, Peter A., Neubauer, Stefan, Levett, Denny, Montgomery, Hugh E., Grocott, Mike P and Clarke, Kieran (2010) The effect of high-altitude on human skeletal muscle energetics: P-MRS results from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest expedition PLoS ONE, 5, (5), e10681. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010681). (PMID:20502713).

Record type: Article


Many disease states are associated with regional or systemic hypoxia. The study of healthy individuals exposed to high-altitude hypoxia offers a way to explore hypoxic adaptation without the confounding effects of disease and therapeutic interventions. Using (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging, we investigated skeletal muscle energetics and morphology after exposure to hypobaric hypoxia in seven altitude-naïve subjects (trekkers) and seven experienced climbers. The trekkers ascended to 5300 m while the climbers ascended above 7950 m. Before the study, climbers had better mitochondrial function (evidenced by shorter phosphocreatine recovery halftime) than trekkers: 16+/-1 vs. 22+/-2 s (mean +/- SE, p<0.01). Climbers had higher resting [Pi] than trekkers before the expedition and resting [Pi] was raised across both groups on their return (PRE: 2.6+/-0.2 vs. POST: 3.0+/-0.2 mM, p<0.05). There was significant muscle atrophy post-CXE (PRE: 4.7+/-0.2 vs. POST: 4.5+/-0.2 cm(2), p<0.05), yet exercising metabolites were unchanged. These results suggest that, in response to high altitude hypoxia, skeletal muscle function is maintained in humans, despite significant atrophy.

Other fetchObject.action_uri=info_doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010681&representation=PDF - Version of Record
Available under License Other.
Download (252kB)

More information

Published date: 19 May 2010
Organisations: Clinical & Experimental Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 340904
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: fa163b7e-5919-4f89-aeb2-28e0ac9379ba

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jul 2012 09:17
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:40

Export record



Author: Lindsay M. Edwards
Author: Andrew J. Murray
Author: Damian J. Tyler
Author: Graham J. Kemp
Author: Cameron J. Holloway
Author: Peter A. Robbins
Author: Stefan Neubauer
Author: Denny Levett
Author: Hugh E. Montgomery
Author: Mike P Grocott
Author: Kieran Clarke

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.