Exercise training is known to induce a molecular adaptation process involving inflammatory responses. However any time-of-day effect of exercise on inflammatory responses remains unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether acute bouts of intense exercise performed at different times of the day would affect the release Interleukin-6 (IL-6), one of the most abundant cytokines in mammalian endocrine response to exercise. Cortisol levels were measured as a confirmation of correct timing of exercise and to determine any impact it may have on the cytokine release. Twelve healthy male participants carried out 30 min of intense exercise (3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for 4 resistance exercises at 70% of 1RM) in morning (08:15-09:00 h), and evening (18:15-19:00 h) sessions. An 8h fasting period was required before each exercise session. Blood samples were taken immediately pre and post each exercise sessions to determine IL-6 and cortisol levels. Our data show that whilst the training group showed no post-exercise changes in serum_IL-6 levels (P>0.05), the control group on the other hand showed significant time-of-day modifications in serum_IL-6 levels (P=0.008). Moreover, a significant interaction between intervention phase (pre-post training, AM vs. PM) and group (Exercise vs. Control) is evidenced in terms of serum_IL-6 levels (P=0.014). This interaction however was nullified when the between group differences at baseline were partialled out in a covariate analysis (P>0.05). We also found that the main effect of experimental phase on Cortisol was present in both the trained (P=0.004) and control groups (p<0.001) with no significant interaction (P>0.05). Based on the current data, we would propose that exercise and/or time-of-day would not interfere with clinical endocrine profiling of IL-6 in a population.
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