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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

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Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R.

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L-Cysteine supplementation prevents exercise-induced alterations in human erythrocyte membrane acetylcholinesterase and Na+,K+-ATPase activities

Theodore Parthimos1 / Christi Tsopanakis2 / Panagoula Angelogianni3 / Kleopatra H. Schulpis4 / Nickolaos Parthimos5 / Stylianos Tsakiris6







Corresponding author: S. Tsakiris, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Experimental Physiology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece Phone: +30-2107462662, Fax: +30-2107462571,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine. Volume 45, Issue 1, Pages 67–72, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2007.005, January 2007

Publication History

August 8, 2006
October 8, 2006
Published Online:


Background: L-Cysteine (L-Cys) is implicated in the reduction of free radical production. The aim of this study was to investigate whether L-Cys supplementation prevents modulation of the activities of erythrocyte membrane acetylcholinesterase (AChE), Na+,K+-ATPase and Mg2+-ATPase induced by free radicals in basketball players during training.

Methods: Blood was obtained from 10 basketball male players before (group A) and after a game (group B) and after 1 week of L-Cys (0.5 g/24 h orally) supplementation before (group C) and after training (group D). Lactate, pyruvate and total antioxidant status (TAS) were measured using commercial kits and the enzyme activities were determined spectrophotometrically.

Results: Both lactate and pyruvate levels remarkably increased after exercise. In contrast, TAS levels significantly decreased in group B, increased in group C and then declined (group D), reaching those of group A. AChE activity was statistically increased post-exercise (3.98±0.04

× mg protein) compared with pre-training (2.90±0.05
× mg protein, p<0.01). Na+,K+-ATPase activity was also higher post-exercise (1.27±0.05 μmol Pi/h×mg protein) than that pre-exercise (0.58±0.04 μmol Pi/h×mg protein, p<0.001). When the players were supplemented with L-Cys, both AChE and Na+,K+-ATPase activities remained unaltered post-exercise. Mg2+-ATPase activities were unchanged in all groups studied.

Conclusions: L-Cys supplementation may protect the enzyme activities studied against stimulation induced by free radical production during training in athletes by ameliorating their total antioxidant capacity.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:67–72.

Keywords: acetylcholinesterase; cysteine; exercise; Na+,K+-ATPase; oxidation

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