Blood flow restriction impairs the inflammatory adaptations of strength training in overweight men: a clinical randomized trial

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2020 Jun;45(6):659-666. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2019-0700. Epub 2019 Nov 29.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of high-intensity strength training (ST) or low-intensity strength training with blood flow restriction (ST-BFR) on monocyte subsets, the expression of C-C chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5), and CD16 on monocytes, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) production of overweight men. Thirty overweight men were randomly assigned to conventional ST or ST-BFR. Both groups performed exercises of knee extension and biceps curl with equal volume (3 sessions/week) over 8 weeks, and the peripheral frequency of monocytes (CD14+CD16-, classical monocytes; CD14+CD16+, intermediate monocytes; CD14-CD16+, nonclassical monocytes), the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of CCR5 and CD16 on CD14+ monocytes; and the production of TNF-α by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated cells were quantified. Eight weeks of ST increased the frequency of CD14+CD16- monocytes (p = 0.04) and reduced the percentage of CD14-CD16+ (p = 0.02) and the production of TNF-α by LPS-stimulated cells (p = 0.03). The MFI of CD16 on CD14+ monocytes decreased after the ST intervention (p = 0.02). No difference in monocyte subsets, CCR5 or CD16 expression, and TNF-α production were identified after ST-BFR intervention (p > 0.05). The adoption of ST promotes anti-inflammatory effects on monocyte subsets of overweight men, but this effect was lost when BFR was adopted. Novelty High-intensity strength training reduces the production of TNF-α and the peripheral frequency of CD16+ monocytes in overweight men. Blood flow restriction method blunts the strength training adaptations on monocyte subsets and pro-inflammatory TNF-α production in overweight men.

Keywords: cytokines; exercice de force; exercise immunology; facteur de nécrose tumorale alpha; immunologie de l’exercice; inflammation; monocytes; occlusion vasculaire; overweight; strength exercise; surpoids; tumor necrosis factor-alpha; vascular occlusion.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / immunology
  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Adult
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Inflammation* / immunology
  • Inflammation* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Overweight* / immunology
  • Overweight* / physiopathology
  • Overweight* / therapy
  • Physical Conditioning, Human / physiology*
  • Resistance Training*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Vascular Diseases / immunology
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Young Adult


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha