Background: Increased plasma levels of inflammatory markers and markers of endothelial cell activation have been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular events. Exercise training may lower the risk for coronary heart disease by attenuating inflammation and improving endothelial function. The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of regular high-intensity exercise training on a wide range of markers of inflammation and endothelial cell activation.
Materials and methods: Consecutively, 40 patients were prospectively randomized to a 6 months supervised high-intensity interval training programme or to a control group following successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Blood samples of 36 patients with stable angina, drawn at baseline (before PCI) and at 6 months, were analysed. Late luminal loss was measured at 6 months using quantitative coronary angiography.
Results: At 6 months, levels of the inflammatory markers interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 were reduced and levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 increased in the training group only. The decrease in IL-6 and C-reactive protein levels were significantly correlated with the decrease in luminal loss following PCI. In contrast to these anti-inflammatory effects, training had no effect on markers of platelet-mediated inflammation, and the effect of training on markers on endothelial cell activation were rather complex showing attenuating (von Willebrand factor) and enhancing (E-selectin and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1) effects.
Conclusions: Regular exercise training in stable angina patients following PCI may attenuate some, but not all, inflammatory pathways, potentially contributing to the beneficial effects of exercise training on restenosis.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00469950.