The Impact of Physical Activity on Serum Inflammatory Markers in Overweight Pubertal Boys: 24-Month Follow-Up Study

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Purpose: To investigate the differences in the pattern of changes in serum inflammatory cytokines measured annually over a 24-month period, between less active and more active overweight boys. Participants/Methods: In total, 25 pubertal overweight boys were divided by their moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels into 2 groups: less active group (LAG; n = 10; MVPA < 60 min/d) and more active group (MAG; n = 15; MVPA > 60 min/d). Physical activity was measured by 7-day accelerometry. Serum concentration of 13 inflammatory cytokines [interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-1α, IL-1β, vascular endothelial growth factor, interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, epidermal growth factor, and C-reactive protein] was measured at baseline (T0), after 12 months (T1), and after 24 months (T2) from fasting blood samples. Results: Serum IL-6 level was significantly higher [LAG: 1.27 (0.86, 1.98) pg/mL; MAG: 0.80 (0.52, 0.84) pg/mL] at T0 and IL-8 level [LAG: 10.26 (8.80, 11.64) pg/mL; MAG: 7.42 (6.10, 9.54) pg/mL] at T2 in LAG compared with MAG. The changes over the study period varied between different inflammatory markers. None of the slopes of any measured markers were statistically different between the LAG and MAG, although the slopes of interferon-γ and IL-10 tended to be different between the groups. Conclusions: The pattern of changes over the study period varied between different inflammatory markers, but these changes were not different between the MVPA groups. More longitudinal studies are needed to investigate whether IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and interferon-γ would be the choice of inflammatory markers to study the associations between obesity and physical activity in future.

Remmel, Mengel, Purge, Lätt, and Jürimäe are with the Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. Tillmann and Kool are with the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. Tillmann is also with the Children’s Clinic, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia.

Address author correspondence to Liina Remmel at liina.remmel@ut.ee.
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