Physical exercise induces activation of NF-kappaB in human peripheral blood lymphocytes

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2001 Dec;3(6):1131-7. doi: 10.1089/152308601317203639.


Current understanding of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation is derived mostly from in vitro studies, and in vivo human data are limited. This study provides first evidence showing that physical exercise (80% maximal O2 consumption, 1 h) may trigger NF-kappaB activation, as determined by electrophoretic mobility shift assay, in peripheral blood lymphocytes of physically fit young men. Supershift assay showed that the NF-kappaB protein complex contained the transcriptionally active p65 protein. Plasma levels of NF-kappaB-directed gene products such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-2 receptor confirmed that physical exercise caused NF-kappaB transactivation. Exercise-induced NF-kappaB activation in lymphocytes was associated with elevated levels of lipid peroxidation by-products in the plasma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / blood*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha