Sex differences in creatine kinase after acute heavy resistance exercise on circulating granulocyte estradiol receptors

Megan R. Wolf, Maren S. Fragala, Jeff S. Volek, Craig R. Denegar, Jeffrey M. Anderson, Brett A. Comstock, Courtenay Dunn-Lewis, David R. Hooper, Tunde K. Szivak, Hui Ying Luk, Carl M. Maresh, Keijo Häkkinen, William J. Kraemer

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18 Scopus citations


Previous research has shown reduced tissue disruption and inflammatory responses in women as compared to men following acute strenuous exercise. While the mechanism of this action is not known, estrogen may reduce the inflammatory response through its interaction with granulocytes. The purpose of this study was to determine if estrogen receptor β expression on granulocytes is related to sex differences in tissue disruption in response to an acute heavy resistance exercise protocol. Seven healthy, resistance-trained, eumenorrheic women (23 ± 3 years, 169 ± 9.1 cm, 66.4 ± 10.5 kg) and 8 healthy, resistance-trained men (25 ± 5 years, 178 ± 6.7 cm, 82.3 ± 9.33 kg) volunteered to participate in the study. Subjects performed an acute resistance exercise test consisting of six sets of five squats at 90% of the subject's one repetition maximum. Blood samples were obtained pre-, mid-, post-, and 1-, 6-, and 24-h postexercise. Blood samples were analyzed for 17-β-estradiol by ELISA, creatine kinase by colorimetric enzyme immunoassay, and estradiol receptors on circulating granulocytes through flow cytometry. Men had higher CK concentrations than women at baseline/control. Men had significantly higher CK concentrations at 24-h postexercise than women. No significant changes in estradiol β receptors were expressed on granulocytes after exercise or between sexes. While sex differences occur in CK activity in response to strenuous eccentric exercise, they may not be related to estradiol receptor β expression on granulocytes. Thus, although there are sex differences in CK expression following acute resistance exercise, the differences may not be attributable to estrogen receptor β expression on granulocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3335-3340
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean journal of applied physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Creatine kinase
  • Estrogen
  • Resistance exercise
  • Skeletal muscle damage
  • Tissue disruption


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