Acute interleukin-6 administration impairs athletic performance in healthy, trained male runners

Can J Appl Physiol. 2004 Aug;29(4):411-8. doi: 10.1139/h04-026.


Fatigue is an inevitable consequence of physical activity; yet its biological cause remains uncertain. During exercise, a polypeptide messenger molecule interleukin-6 (IL-6) is actively produced. Previously, the administration of recombinant IL-6 (rhIL-6) induced a heightened sensation of fatigue in healthy humans at rest. In contrast, anti-IL-6 receptor antibodies reduced the symptoms of chronic fatigue. In the present study, athletic performance during an exercise challenge consisting of a 10-km running time trial was significantly impaired in trained male runners following the administration of a low dose of rhIL-6 compared to the placebo trial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Test / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / administration & dosage*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / drug effects*
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / adverse effects
  • Running*


  • Interleukin-6
  • Recombinant Proteins