Chronic exercise decreases cytokine production in healthy rat skeletal muscle

Fábio S. Lira, Cristiane H. Koyama, Alex S. Yamashita, José C. Rosa, Nelo E. Zanchi, Miguel L. Batista, Marília C. Seelaender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Skeletal muscle is the source of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and recently, it has been recognized as an important source of interleukin-6 (IL-6). Acute physical exercise is known to induce a pro-inflammatory cytokine profile in the plasma. However, the effect of chronic physical exercise in the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines by the skeletal muscle has never been examined. We assessed IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-10 levels in the skeletal muscle of rats submitted to endurance training. Animals were randomly assigned to either a sedentary group (S, n=7) or an endurance exercise trained group (T, n=8). Trained rats ran on a treadmill for 5 days week -1 for 8 weeks (60% VO2max). Detection of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-10 protein expression was carried out by ELISA. We found decreased expression of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and IL-10 (28%, 27%, 32% and 37%, respectively, p<0.05) in the extensor digital longus (EDL) from T, when compared with S. In the soleus, IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-10 protein levels were similarly decreased (34%, 42% and 50%, respectively, p<0.05) in T in relation to S, while IL-6 expression was not affected by the training protocol. In conclusion, exercise training induced decreased cytokine protein expression in the skeletal muscle. These data show that in healthy rats, 8-week moderate-intensity aerobic training down regulates skeletal muscle production of cytokines involved in the onset, maintenance and regulation of inflammation, and that the response is heterogeneous according to fibre composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-461
Number of pages4
JournalCell Biochemistry and Function
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Endurance training
  • Pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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