European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 84, Issue 3, pp 180–186

Markers of inflammation and myofibrillar proteins following eccentric exercise in humans

  • Donna L. MacIntyre
  • Stephan Sorichter
  • Johannes Mair
  • Aloys Berg
  • Donald C. McKenzie

DOI: 10.1007/s004210170002

Cite this article as:
MacIntyre, D., Sorichter, S., Mair, J. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2001) 84: 180. doi:10.1007/s004210170002


The purpose of this study was to examine the time-course and relationships of technetium-99m (99mTc) neutrophils in muscle, interleukin-6 (IL-6), myosin heavy chain fragments (MHC), eccentric torque, and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) following eccentric exercise in humans. Twelve male subjects completed a pre-test DOMS questionnaire, performed a strength test and had 100 ml blood withdrawn for analysis of plasma IL-6 and MHC content. The neutrophils were separated, labelled with 99mTc, and re-infused into the subjects immediately before the exercise. Following 300 eccentric repetitions of the right quadriceps muscles on an isokinetic dynamometer, the subjects had 10 ml of blood withdrawn and repeated the eccentric torque exercise tests and DOMS questionnaire at 0, 2, 4, 6, 20, 24, 48, 72 h, and 6 and 9 days. Bilateral images of the quadriceps muscles were taken at 2, 4, and 6 h. Computer analysis of regions of interest was used to determine the average count per pixel. The 99mTc neutrophils and IL-6 increased up to 6 h post-exercise (P < 0.05). The neutrophils were greater in the exercised muscle than the non-exercised muscle (P < 0.01). The DOMS was increased from 0 to 48 h, eccentric torque decreased from 2 to 24 h, and MHC peaked at 72 h post-exercise (P < 0.001). Significant relationships were found between IL-6 at 2 h and DOMS at 24 h post-exercise (r=0.68) and assessment of the magnitude of change between IL-6 and MHC (r=0.66). These findings suggest a relationship between damage to the contractile proteins and inflammation, and that DOMS is associated with inflammation but not with muscle damage.

Key words Neutrophils Interleukin-6 Myosin heavy chain fragments Delayed onset muscle soreness 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna L. MacIntyre
    • 1
  • Stephan Sorichter
    • 3
  • Johannes Mair
    • 5
  • Aloys Berg
    • 4
  • Donald C. McKenzie
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of British Columbia, T325 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada e-mail: Fax: +1-604-8227624CA
  2. 2.School of Human Kinetics and Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, 3055 Wesbrook Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, CanadaCA
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pneumology, University Hospital of Freiburg, Hugstetterstrasse 55, 79102 Freiburg, GermanyDE
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rehabilitative and Preventive Sports Medicine, University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetterstrasse 55, 79102 Freiburg, GermanyDE
  5. 5.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University Hospital of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, AustriaAT

Personalised recommendations