Acute hyperketonaemia alters T-cell-related cytokine gene expression within stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells following prolonged exercise
We investigated the effect of the racemic β-hydroxybutyrate precursor, R,S-1,3-butanediol (BD), on T-cell-related cytokine gene expression within stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) following prolonged, strenuous exercise.
A repeated-measures, randomised, crossover study was conducted in nine healthy, trained male cyclists (age, 26.7 ± 5.2 years; VO2peak, 63.9 ± 2.5 mL kg−1 min−1). Participants ingested 0.35 g kg−1 of BD or placebo 30 min before and 60 min during 85 min of steady-state (SS) exercise, which preceded a ~ 30 min time-trial (TT) (7 kJ kg−1). Blood samples were collected at pre-supplement, pre-exercise, post-SS, post-TT and 1-h post-TT. Whole blood cultures were stimulated with Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) for 24 h to determine T-cell-related interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10 and interferon (IFN)-γ mRNA expression within isolated PBMCs in vitro.
Serum cortisol, total circulating leukocyte and lymphocyte, and T-cell subset concentrations were similar between trials during exercise and recovery (all p > 0.05). BD ingestion increased T-cell-related IFN-γ mRNA expression compared with placebo throughout exercise and recovery (p = 0.011); however, IL-4 and IL-10 mRNA expression and the IFN-γ/IL-4 mRNA expression ratio were unaltered (all p > 0.05).
Acute hyperketonaemia appears to transiently amplify the initiation of the pro-inflammatory T-cell-related IFN-γ response to an immune challenge in vitro during and following prolonged, strenuous exercise; suggesting enhanced type-1 T-cell immunity at the gene level.
KeywordsKetone supplement Nutritional ketosis Immune Lymphocyte Type-1/type-2 Interleukin Interferon
Analysis of variance
Cluster of differentiation
Complementary deoxyribonucleic acid
Foetal bovine serum
Dipotassium ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid
Messenger ribonucleic acid
Peripheral blood mononuclear cell
Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
Upper respiratory tract symptom
Maximal oxygen uptake
Peak oxygen uptake
Second ventilatory threshold
The authors would like to thank the participants for their effort, cooperation and humour.
The study was designed by DS, FM, AB and DD; data were collected by DS; data interpretation and manuscript preparation were undertaken by DS, FM, AB, LK and DD. All authors approved the final version of the paper.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors do not have any conflicts of interest.
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