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Changes of Iron Stores and Duodenal Transepithelial Iron Transfer During Regular Exercise in Rats

Che, Li-Long, Xiao, De-Sheng, Xu, Hua-Xi, Lu, Liwei
Biological trace element research 2011 v.143 no.2 pp. 1044-1053
blood, body weight, diet, exercise, hematocrit, hemoglobin, iron absorption, liver, rats, spleen, swimming
It is unclear whether regular exercise depletes body iron stores and how exercise regulates iron absorption. In this study, growing female Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-iron diet (300 mg iron/kg) and subjected to swimming for 1, 3, or 12 months. Their body weight, liver nonheme iron content (NHI), spleen NHI, blood hemoglobin (Hb) concentration, hematocrit (Hct), and kinetics of 59Fe transfer across isolated duodenal segments were then compared with sedentary controls. The main results were as follows: exercise for 1 month enhanced the transepithelial 59Fe transfer and increased liver NHI content and Hb concentration; exercise for 3 months inhibited transepithelial 59Fe transfer without affecting the liver and spleen NHI content, Hb concentration, and Hct; exercise for 12 months did not affect these parameters as compared with the corresponding sedentary controls; and the changes in transepithelial iron transfer were not associated with basolateral iron transfer. Our findings demonstrated that chronic, regular exercise in growing rats with a high dietary iron content does not deplete iron stores in the liver and spleen and may possibly enhance or inhibit duodenal iron absorption and even maintain duodenal iron absorption at the sedentary level, at least, in part depending on growth.