Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 4, 2014
   Pages 645 — 654

Abstract — Inflammation-mediating cytokine response to acute handcycling exercise with/without functional electrical stimulation-evoked lower-limb cycling

Thomas A. W. Paulson, MSc;* Nicolette C. Bishop, PhD; Brett M. Smith, PhD; Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey, PhD

School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom

Abstract — This feasibility study compared the plasma inflammation-mediating cytokine response to an acute bout of handcycling (HC) with and without the addition of functional electrical stimulation (FES)-evoked lower-limb cycling. On two separate occasions, five recreationally active, community-based participants with motor complete paraplegia (thoracic 5–7) performed 30 min HC and hybrid exercise (HYB) at a fixed power output. Venous blood samples were collected at rest, immediately postexercise, 1 h postexercise (post+1) and 2 h postexercise (post+2). Plasma interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), adrenaline, and cortisol concentrations were determined via enzyme-linked immunoassay. Plasma IL-6 concentrations were significantly (p < 0.04) elevated (~2.5-fold) at post+1 and post+2 in HYB only. A small (0.5-fold), nonsignificant (p > 0.05) increase in IL-6 was observed at post+1 in HC, with concentrations significantly higher in HYB at post+2 (p < 0.02). Plasma IL-1ra was unaffected in both trials. Although not reaching statistical significance (p = 0.15), a ~1-fold increase in IL-10 concentration was seen in HYB at post+2. In contrast, increases in adrenaline (p < 0.04) and cortisol (p = 0.08) were observed immediately postexercise in HC and HYB. Initial findings suggest paralyzed skeletal muscle releases IL-6 in response to FES-evoked contractions. HYB may provide a greater anti-inflammatory potential in individuals with a thoracic spinal cord injury compared with HC alone.

Key words:anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular disease, health, immunoendocrine, myokine, physical activity, skeletal muscle, spinal cord injury, stress hormones, training.


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This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Paulson TA, Bishop NC, Smith BM, Goosey-Tolfrey VL. Inflammation-mediating cytokine response to acute handcycling exercise with/without functional electrical stimulation-evoked lower-limb cycling. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(4):645–54.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.08.0184
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