Effects of Exercise on Gene Expression of Inflammatory Markers in Human Peripheral Blood Cells: A Systematic Review

Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep. 2015;9(7):34. doi: 10.1007/s12170-015-0463-4.


Regular physical activity seems to be one of the most important contributors to prevent disease and promote health. Being physically active reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some types of cancers. The molecular mechanisms are however not fully elucidated. Depending on duration and intensity, exercise will cause disruption of muscle fibers triggering a temporary inflammatory response. This response may not only involve the muscle tissue, but also peripheral tissues such as white blood cells, which are important components of the immune system. The immune system plays a vital role in the development of atherosclerosis, thereby making white blood cells relevant to study when looking at molecular mechanisms induced by physical activity. In this review, we summarize the existing literature on exercise and gene expression in human white blood cells, and discuss these results in relation to inflammation and atherosclerosis.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Exercise; Gene expression; Inflammation; Leukocytes; Lymphocytes; Monocytes; PBMCs; Peripheral mononuclear blood cells; Physical activity.

Publication types

  • Review