European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 95, Issue 5–6, pp 514–521 | Cite as

Plasma cytokine changes in relation to exercise intensity and muscle damage

  • Jonathan M Peake
  • Katsuhiko Suzuki
  • Matthew Hordern
  • Gary Wilson
  • Kazunori Nosaka
  • Jeff S. Coombes
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of exercise intensity and exercise-induced muscle damage on changes in anti-inflammatory cytokines and other inflammatory mediators. Nine well-trained male runners completed three different exercise trials on separate occasions: (1) level treadmill running at 60% \(\dot{{V}}{\text{O}}_{2\max}\) (moderate-intensity trial) for 60 min; (2) level treadmill running at 85% \(\dot{{V}}{\text{O}}_{2\max}\) (high-intensity trial) for 60 min; (3) downhill treadmill running (−10% gradient) at 60% \(\dot{{V}}{\text{O}}_{2\max}\) (downhill running trial) for 45 min. Blood was sampled before, immediately after and 1 h after exercise. Plasma was analyzed for interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), prostaglandin E2, leukotriene B4 and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70). The plasma concentrations of IL-1ra, IL-12p40, MCP-1 and HSP70 increased significantly (P<0.05) after all three trials. Plasma prostaglandin E2 concentration increased significantly after the downhill running and high-intensity trials, while plasma IL-10 concentration increased significantly only after the high-intensity trial. IL-4 and leukotriene B4 did not increase significantly after exercise. Plasma IL-1ra and IL-10 concentrations were significantly higher (P<0.05) after the high-intensity trial than after both the moderate-intensity and downhill running trials. Therefore, following exercise up to 1 h duration, exercise intensity appears to have a greater effect on anti-inflammatory cytokine production than exercise-induced muscle damage.


Anti-inflammatory cytokines Eccentric exercise Muscle damage Systemic stress 



This study was partly supported by a Waseda University Grant for Special Research Projects 2004A-288 and carried out in the Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical Care, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Jonathan Peake is a recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan M Peake
    • 1
  • Katsuhiko Suzuki
    • 1
  • Matthew Hordern
    • 2
  • Gary Wilson
    • 2
  • Kazunori Nosaka
    • 3
  • Jeff S. Coombes
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Human Sciences, and Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical CareWaseda UniversityTokorozawa, SaitamaJapan
  2. 2.School of Human Movement StudiesUniversity of QueenslandSt Lucia, BrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Biomedical and Sports Science, Faculty of Computing, Health and ScienceEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalup, PerthAustralia

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