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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Sep 1;119(5):508-16. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00334.2015. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

Short-term high-intensity interval and moderate-intensity continuous training reduce leukocyte TLR4 in inactive adults at elevated risk of type 2 diabetes.

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School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada


Exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects in obesity, but the optimal type and intensity of exercise are not clear. This study compared short-term high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) in terms of improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness, markers of inflammation, and glucose control in previously inactive adults at elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Thirty-nine inactive, overweight/obese adults (32 women) were randomly assigned to 10 sessions over 2 wk of progressive HIIT (n = 20, four to ten 1-min sessions at ∼90% peak heart rate, 1-min rest periods) or MICT (n = 19, 20-50 min at ∼65% peak heart rate). Before and 3 days after training, participants performed a peak O2 uptake test, and fasting blood samples were obtained. Both HIIT (1.8 ± 0.4 vs. 1.9 ± 0.4 l/min, pre vs. post) and MICT (1.8 ± 0.5 vs. 1.9 ± 0.5 l/min, pre vs. post) improved peak O2 uptake (P < 0.001) and lowered plasma fructosamine (P < 0.05). Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 (TLR4) expression was reduced on lymphocytes and monocytes after both HIIT and MICT (P < 0.05) and on neutrophils after MICT (P < 0.01). TLR2 on lymphocytes was reduced after HIIT and MICT (P < 0.05). Plasma inflammatory cytokines were unchanged after training in both groups, but MICT led to a reduction in fasting plasma glucose (P < 0.05, 5.9 ± 1.0 vs. 5.6 ± 1.0 mmol/l, pre vs. post). Ten days of either HIIT or MICT can improve cardiorespiratory fitness and glucose control and lead to reductions in TLR2 and TLR4 expression. MICT, which involved a longer duration of exercise, may be superior for reducing fasting glucose.


aerobic exercise; chronic inflammation; glucose control; high-intensity interval training; prediabetes

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