Effect of acute exhausting exercise on cytokine gene expression in men

Int J Sports Med. 1996 May;17(4):299-302. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-972850.


Because of recent interest in the effects of physical exercise on immunologic function, we decided to use state-of-the-art methods to evaluate cytokines in the peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) of 7 men before and after a maximal treadmill stress test. Change in cytokine gene expression was quantified from PBLs using a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay (RT-PCR). In contrast to reports on serum levels or using in vitro testing, direct gene expression of TNF-alpha decreased after the stress test (p < 0.008). However, the 47% decrease was relatively small and of questionable biological significance. Levels of IL-1a, IL-1b, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and INF-gamma did not change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / biosynthesis
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Leukocytes / immunology*
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha