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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1995 Nov;79(5):1497-503.

Endurance run increases circulating IL-6 and IL-1ra but downregulates ex vivo TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta production.

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Department of Medicine, University Hospital St. Radboud, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


We investigated whether a 6-h endurance run changes cytokine plasma concentrations and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) stimulated ex vivo production of cytokines in a whole blood culture of 19 well-trained athletes. The average distance covered was 65.1 +/- 8.64 (SD) km. At the end of the exercise, the mean plasma concentration of interleukin-1-receptor agonist (IL-1ra), which was 188 pg/ml 24 h before finish, increased to 886 pg/ml (P < 0.0005). The mean plasma interleukin-6 concentration increased from 18.5 +/- 4.2 to 71.5 +/- 33.3 pg/ml (P < 0.0001). The increase of neutrophils correlated with the increase of IL-1ra concentrations (r = 0.58, P < 0.005). We could not detect an effect of exercise on plasma concentrations of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). The ex vivo LPS-stimulated production of IL-1 beta in athletes 24 h before the run was significantly higher than in sedentary controls. Exercise induced a decrease of LPS-stimulated production of IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha, whereas production of IL-1ra was unchanged. These results show that prolonged exercise elicits a selective downregulation of the proinflammatory cytokine production and upregulation of the cytokines IL-1ra and interleukin-6.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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