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Brain Behav Immun. 2012 Aug;26(6):931-41. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Exercise training attenuates hepatic inflammation, fibrosis and macrophage infiltration during diet induced-obesity in mice.

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Graduate School of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which is considered the hepatic event in metabolic syndrome, was recently associated with the innate immune system. Although regular exercise reduces hepatic injury markers like serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, the mechanisms regulating the effects of exercise on steatohepatitis are unclear. This study aimed to clarify whether exercise training suppresses hepatic injury, inflammation, and fibrosis by suppressing macrophage infiltration. Male C57BL/6J (4-week old) mice were randomly divided into four groups: normal diet (ND) control (n=7), ND exercise (n=5), high-fat diet and high-fructose water (HFF) control (n=11), and HFF exercise (n=11) groups. Mice were fed the ND or HFF from 4 to 20 weeks of age. The exercise groups were trained on a motorized treadmill for 60 min/day, five times/week. The nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) activity score and plasma ALT activity, indicators of liver injury, were increased in HFF control mice but were attenuated in HFF exercise mice. Hepatic inflammation, indicated by hepatic tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels and hepatic resident macrophage infiltration, was significantly lower in HFF exercise mice than in HFF control mice. Hepatic fibrosis markers (histological hepatic fibrosis detected by Sirius red and α-smooth muscle actin staining and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 mRNA) were attenuated in HFF exercise mice compared with HFF control mice. These results suggest that exercise training reduces hepatic inflammation, injury, and fibrosis by suppressing macrophage infiltration.

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