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Int J Sports Med. 1996 May;17(4):299-302.

Effect of acute exhausting exercise on cytokine gene expression in men.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Center, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark 07013, USA.


Because of recent interest in the effects of physical exercise on immunologic function, we decided to use state-of-the-art methods to evaluate cytokines in the peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) of 7 men before and after a maximal treadmill stress test. Change in cytokine gene expression was quantified from PBLs using a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay (RT-PCR). In contrast to reports on serum levels or using in vitro testing, direct gene expression of TNF-alpha decreased after the stress test (p < 0.008). However, the 47% decrease was relatively small and of questionable biological significance. Levels of IL-1a, IL-1b, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and INF-gamma did not change.

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