Resistance Training at Eight-Repetition Maximum Reduces the Inflammatory Milieu in Elderly Women

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Abstract

Introduction/Purpose:

Inflammatory cytokines are associated with age- and inactivity-related diseases. We examined the influence of moderate- to high-intensity resistance trainings (RT) on inflammatory cytokines (interleukin 6 (IL-6) and 1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α)) in circulation and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated whole blood in elderly women.

Method:

Previously sedentary women (72 ± 6.1 yr) were grouped according to their hormone replacement regimen: traditional estrogen/progesterone (HRT, n = 12), selective estrogen receptor modulator (SER, n = 7), no hormone replacement (NHR, n = 9), or nonexercise control group taking no hormone replacement (CON, n = 7). Participants in the HRT, SER, and NHR groups trained (three sets, 10 exercises at eight-repetition maximum (8RM)) 3 d·wk−1, whereas participants in the CON group maintained their "normal" activity for 10 wk. Participants performed a bout of resistance exercise (RE at 8RM; HRT, SER, and NHR groups) or sat quietly (CON) before (BT) and after (AT) RT to assess the influence of training on the acute responses to RE. Blood samples were obtained preexercise (PR), postexercise (PO), and 2 h postexercise (2H; same time points for resting CON).

Results:

Hormone status had no influence on dependent variables, so HRT, SER, and NHR groups were collapsed into one exercise group (EX, n = 28) and compared with CON. RT significantly reduced resting serum TNF-α level by 37%. RT also reduced LPS-stimulated production of IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α at all time points (PR, PO, and 2H; per monocyte). Acute RE transiently increased plasma TNF-α, but blunted the circadian increase in LPS-stimulated inflammatory cytokines observed in CON. The blunting effect in EX was significantly greater AT compared with BT. RE also resulted in an increase in plasma IL-6, which was significantly reduced AT (BT: PR = 1.6 ± 0.5, PO = 2.8 ± 0.5; AT: PR = 1.8 ± 0.3, PO = 2.4 ± 0.3).

Conclusions:

We found that 10 wk of moderate- to high-intensity RT 1) reduced the systemic inflammatory milieu and 2) abrogated exercise-induced circulating IL-6 in previously sedentary elderly women.

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