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Eur Heart J. 2004 Feb;25(4):349-55.

Exercise reduces plasma levels of the chemokines MCP-1 and IL-8 in subjects with the metabolic syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Nordland Hospital, Bodø, Norway.



Inflammation plays an essential role in the atherosclerotic process, and chemokines such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) seem to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. A possible common inflammatory basis for the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis has been suggested. In this study we investigated the effect of physical exercise and the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor pravastatin on peripheral markers of inflammation in subjects with the metabolic syndrome.


The study was an unmasked randomized 2x2 factorial trial of 12 weeks duration.


In the combined exercise groups there was a significant reduction in MCP-1 and IL-8 of 48 pg/ml (P=0.04) and 1.0 pg/ml (P=0.007), respectively, as compared to the combined non-exercise groups. There was also a significant reduction vs baseline of 50 pg/ml (33%) (P=0.002) and 0.35 pg/ml (13%) (P=0.03) for MCP-1 and IL-8, respectively. Changes in MCP-1 were significantly correlated to changes in visceral fat (r=0.41, P=0.02).


The protective effect of exercise might in part be due to suppression of the inflammatory process.

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