Introduction: Some studies have shown the influence of Qigong on gene expression in different cells, but there is little data associated with the influence of this kind of therapy on genes expression in pheripheral monocellucar blood cells.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in the expression of genes associated with cellular stress response in peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PMBC) in healthy women.
Material and methods: The experiment took place at the Japanese Martial Arts Centre "DOJO" in Stara Wieś, Poland, conducted over the course of a 4-day qigong training session. To evaluate the genes effect of this training, blood samples were taken before and after the training period. This experiment involved 20 healthy women (aged 56.2±9.01, body height 164.8±6.5 and mass 65.5±8.2). To determine the expression of HSF-1, HSPA1A, NF-kB, IL10 and CCL2 mRNA, 3 ml of venous blood was collected. The blood samples were placed in tubes allowing for separation (BD Vacutainer CPT <sup>TM</sup>) before and after the 4 days of qigong training. Isolated PMBC were used to determine gene expression using real-time qRT-PCR (quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction).
Results: Significant decreases in NF-kB and CCL2 mRNA and increases in IL10, HSF1 and HSPA1A m-RNA were detected after 4 days of qigong training. The obtained findings suggest that qigong caused a reduction in the inflammatory and intensified anti-inflammatory gene expression, as well as a higher expression of HSF-1 and HSPA1A.
Conclusions: The adaptive response to qigong training was similar to the adaptive response to physical activity and was detected through gene expression in PMBC. Furthermore, this kind of training is especially indicated for women because of their higher susceptibility to psychosocial stress when compared to men.
Keywords: genes expression; heat shock protein; inflammation; qigong.