Increase in IL-6, TNF-α, and MMP-9, but not sICAM-1, concentrations depends on exercise duration

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It has been suggested that exercise intensity is of importance in the regulation of increase in pro-inflammatory molecules, but there is still a debate about the effect of duration on these molecules. Therefore, the effect of exercise duration on the serum concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), soluble form of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) was studied in 22 half-marathon (HM) and 18 marathon (M) male amateur runners who completed their exercise task in 1.8 ± 0.2 (mean ± standard deviation) and 3.6 ± 0.4 h, respectively (thus, average speed was 11.7 ± 1.5 and 11.9 ± 1.8 km h-1, respectively). Blood was sampled 2 days before, 15 min after, and 28 h after the race. IL-6, TNF-α, and MMP-9 always increased immediately after exercise, but the increase was larger (P < 0.05) in M versus HM (â̂†IL-6: 31 ± 24 vs. 5 ± 4 pg ml-1; â̂†TNF-α: 1.7 ± 1.9 vs. 0.5 ± 0.8 pg ml-1; MMP-9: 288 ± 216 vs. 145 ± 128 ng ml-1, respectively). sICAM-1 also increased with exercise, but similarly in M and HM (20 ± 40 vs. 23 ± 32 ng ml-1, respectively). Only sICAM-1 remained elevated 28 h post-exercise in both HM and M, while IL-6, TNF-α, and MMP-9 returned to pre-exercise levels. Competitive HM and M races induce significant increases in IL-6, TNF-α, sICAM-1, and MMP-9 concentrations. As HM and M runners performed the competition with similar absolute intensity, the difference in response between the groups suggests that exercise duration is of importance in the regulation of IL-6, TNF-α, and MMP-9, but not sICAM-1 concentrations in response to prolonged running.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-858
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • Exercise
  • Inflammation
  • MMP-9
  • sICAM-1

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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