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n International SportMed Journal - Exercise-induced plasma cytokines between older and younger adults : original research article
Introduction : Reduced VO2 peak, muscle mass, increased fat mass and immunosenescence have been associated with aging. This study examined the effects of exercise on selected cytokines in younger and older individuals, and after 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training in older individuals.
Methods : Serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 β) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) were measured before and after maximal and sustained submaximal (70% VO2 peak) tests in sedentary young (22 ± 3 years, BMI = 24.9 ± 3.7 kg/m2) and older subjects (75 ± 7 years, BMI = 25.1 ± 3.5 kg/m2) prior to and after training.
Results : There were no significant differences in baseline levels of IL-1 β, IL-6 or IL-10 between younger and older subjects. In younger subjects, IL-6 (33%) and IL-1 β (25%) were increased after the maximal exercise test, whereas IL-6 was increased (112%) after the submaximal test (P < 0.05). In older subjects pre-training, levels of IL-6, IL-1 β and IL-10 were not affected by acute exercise. In older subjects after training, IL-6 increased in response to acute maximal and submaximal exercise, 17% and 44%, respectively.
Conclusion : Older subjects did not demonstrate a significant inflammatory response (IL-1 β) to acute exercise; however their anti-inflammatory (IL-6) response was blunted, and was only partially restored by 12 weeks of exercise training. Further studies are needed to examine the effects of longer-term chronic exercise on immune parameters.
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