n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Complement, immunoglobulin and creatine kinase response in black and white males after muscle-damaging exercise : original research article

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



. To determine the effect of eccentrically biased exercise and ethnic group on circulating levels of complement, immunoglobulin creatine kinase. Seven black and 8 white males (18 - 22 years), active but untrained, participated in the study. Subjects performed a 60-minute downhill run on a treadmill (gradient -13.5%) at a speed eliciting 75% of their VO peak on a level grade. Venipunctures were performed before, immediately after and then at 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours afterwards. Plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity, serum complement (C3, C4) and immunoglobulin (total IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, IgG4, IgA) concentrations were compared using a repeated measures ANOVA.

. There was an interaction (=0.0055) and ethnic group effect (<0.0001) for CK activity with consistently higher levels in the black group. CK increased over time after the run, peaking at 12 h for both groups. C3, C4, total IgG, IgG1, IgG3, and IgA were significantly higher (ethnic group effect, <0.001), and IgG2 significantly lower (ethnic group effect, <0.001) in the black group. Significantly higher resting concentrations of total IgG (+21%), and IgG1 (+32%) were observed in this group.
. CK was significantly elevated in the black group although the relative response to exercise in whites was higher, suggesting greater muscle damage. Differences in the concentration of complement proteins and immunoglobulins suggest a heightened immunological / inflammatory milieu in the circulation of the black group. The performance and health implications of this finding warrant further investigation.

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