Acute inflammatory responses to exercise in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm

Mark Thomas Windsor, Tom George Bailey, Maria Perissiou, Kim Greaves, Pankaj Jha, Anthony Scott Leicht, Fraser David Russell, Jonathan Golledge, Christopher David Askew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Inflammation and extracellular matrix degeneration contribute to abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) development. We aimed to assess the effect of exercise intensity on circulating biomarkers of inflammation and extracellular matrix degeneration in patients with AAA and healthy older adults.

Methods: Twenty patients with AAA (74 ± 6 yr) and 20 healthy males (72 ± 5 yr) completed moderate-intensity cycling at 40% peak power output, higher-intensity intervals at 70% peak power output, and control (rest) on separate days. Circulating matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), transforming growth factor beta 1, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were analyzed at rest and 0 to 90 min postexercise.

Results: Biomarkers at baseline were similar between groups. IL-6 responses to exercise were similar between groups, with a greater increase in ΔIL-6 after moderate-intensity compared with higher-intensity exercise (P < 0.001). Delta MMP-9 showed a 118-ng·mL−1 (95% confidence interval = 23 to 214, P = 0.02) greater increase immediately after higher-intensity exercise compared with changes in control in both groups. Delta MMP-9 then decreased by 114 ng·mL−1 (18 to 211, P = 0.02) 90 min after higher-intensity exercise compared with the changes in control. Delta TNF-α was not different between protocols in healthy adults. In patients with AAA, delta TNF-α showed a greater decrease after higher-intensity compared with moderate-intensity exercise (−6.1 pg·mL−1, −8.5 to −3.6, P < 0.001) and control (−4.9 pg·mL−1, −7.4 to −2.4, P < 0.001). IL-10 and transforming growth factor beta 1 did not change in either group.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that a bout of higher-intensity exercise elicits a greater anti-inflammatory response compared with moderate-intensity exercise, which may be further augmented in patients with AAA. Exercise-induced reductions in biomarkers associated with AAA progression may represent a protective effect of exercise in patients with AAA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-658
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


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