Exercise intensity usually correlates with increased oxidative stress and enhanced cytokine production. However, it is unknown if all types of exercise that induce muscle damage can cause a parallel response in the oxidation balance and cytokine production. To this end, the effect of a 2000-m running test in a group of volunteers that regularly train in aerobic routines was studied. Different circulating parameters were measured, oxidative stress markers (protein carbonyls and malondialdehyde), antioxidant enzyme activity, and cytokine levels in plasma as well as in the main circulating cells of blood samples obtained in basal conditions and after test execution. As a result, the test caused muscle damage evidenced by an increase in circulating creatine kinase and myoglobin. This was accompanied by an increase in protein carbonyls in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Activities of antioxidant enzymes (catalase, glutathione peroxidase and reductase, superoxide dismutase) were elevated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, neutrophils, and erythrocytes after the test. Regarding cytokine production, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, interleukin-10, and tumor necrosis factor-α exhibited no significant changes after the test. Results suggest that this short but intense running exercise (2000 m) can induce muscle damage and elicit a good balance between oxidant/antioxidant responses with no changes in the circulating concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Keywords: Antioxidants; Inflammation; Interleukins; Oxidative stress.