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Spinal cord injury level and the circulating cytokine response to strenuous exercise

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posted on 24.07.2014 by Tom Paulson, Vicky Goosey-Tolfrey, John P. Lenton, Christof Leicht, Nicolette Bishop
PURPOSE: A complete spinal cord injury (SCI) above the 6th thoracic vertebra (T6) results in the loss of sympathetic innervation of the adrenal medulla. This study examined the effect of a complete SCI above and below T6 on plasma concentrations of epinephrine, circulating interleukin (IL)-6 and other inflammatory cytokines in response to acute strenuous exercise. METHODS: Twenty-six elite male wheelchair athletes (8=C6-C7 tetraplegic (TETRA); 10=T6- L1 paraplegic (PARA); 8=non-spinal cord injured controls (NON-SCI)) performed a submaximal exercise test followed by a graded exercise to exhaustion on a motorised treadmill. Blood samples were taken pre-exercise, post-exercise and 30 min post-exercise (post30) and analysed for concentrations of IL-6, IL-10, IL-1 receptor-antagonist (IL-1ra), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), epinephrine and cortisol. RESULTS: Circulating IL-6 concentration was significantly elevated at post-exercise and post30 (~5-fold) in NON-SCI and PARA (P=0.003) whereas concentrations in TETRA did not change significantly from pre-exercise values. IL-10, IL-1ra and TNF-α were unaffected by exercise in all groups, however both SCI groups presented elevated concentrations of IL-10 compared with NONSCI (P=0.001). At post-exercise, epinephrine concentrations were significantly higher than pre-exercise and post30 concentrations in NON-SCI (~3-fold) and PARA (~2-fold) (P=0.02). Plasma epinephrine concentrations were unchanged in TETRA throughout exercise; concentrations were significantly lower than NON-SCI and PARA at all-time points. Plasma cortisol concentrations were significantly elevated in all groups at post-exercise and post30 compared with pre-exercise (P<0.001). Total exercise time was similar between groups (NON-SCI= 38±6; PARA= 35±5; TETRA= 36±5 min). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest the sympathetic nervous system plays an important regulatory role in the circulating IL-6 response to exercise and has implications for the metabolic and inflammatory responses to exercise in individuals with injuries above T6.

Funding

A grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation was received for consumable costs during this research along with additional support provided by the corresponding institution.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE

Volume

45

Issue

9

Pages

1649 - 1655 (7)

Citation

PAULSON, T.A.W. ... et al., 2013. Spinal cord injury level and the circulating cytokine response to strenuous exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 45 (9), pp. 1649-1655.

Publisher

© American College of Sports Medicine

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2013

Notes

This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in: PAULSON, T.A.W. ... et al., 2013. Spinal cord injury level and the circulating cytokine response to strenuous exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 45 (9), pp. 1649-1655. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828f9bbb.

ISSN

0195-9131

eISSN

1530-0315

Language

en

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