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Resistance exercise training-induced decrease in circulating inflammatory CD14+CD16+ monocyte percentage without weight loss in older adults

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Exercise training reduces systemic inflammation in weight-stable people, but concurrent diet-induced body weight loss is not well studied. We hypothesized that resistance training would decrease inflammatory monocyte percentage and improve biomarkers associated with disease risk, independent of weight loss.


Forty physically inactive (PI) subjects (58.0 ± 5.7 years; BMI 30.1 ± 4.3 kg m−2) completed baseline testing, and 26 of these subjects completed 12-week of resistance training exercises while consuming either their usual, weight-maintenance diet (RE, n = 14) or an energy-restricted diet (RE–ER, n = 12). Nine physically active (PA) subjects served as a comparison group (60.1 ± 6.1 years; BMI 25.8 ± 3.1 kg m−2).


At baseline, circulating CD14+CD16+ monocyte percentage, C-reactive protein, and cholesterol were higher in PI vs. PA. Post-intervention, RE subjects had a ~35 % decrease in circulating CD14+CD16+, and a lower LPS-stimulated TNFα and IL-6 production, while RE–ER subjects had lower cholesterol than RE.


These findings indicate that resistance training is an effective means for older, overweight adults to reduce systemic inflammation. The unexpected lack of response with concurrent energy restriction underscores the need for further research on the use of resistance training and diet to reduce inflammation.

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Body mass index


C-reactive protein


Resistance exercise group


Resistance exercise and energy restriction group






Mean fluorescence intensity


Physically active


Physically inactive


Polymixin B


Toll-like receptor


Tumor necrosis factor


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This research was conducted at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Support for this project was provided by the National Institutes of Health, Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Indiana Clinical Research Center at Purdue University, UL RR025761; The Purdue University Ismail Center for Health, Exercise, and Nutrition; the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Purdue University; and a Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship (for MMM) from Purdue University.

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Correspondence to Melissa M. Markofski.

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Communicated by Fabio Fischetti.

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Markofski, M.M., Flynn, M.G., Carrillo, A.E. et al. Resistance exercise training-induced decrease in circulating inflammatory CD14+CD16+ monocyte percentage without weight loss in older adults. Eur J Appl Physiol 114, 1737–1748 (2014).

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