Sunday, September 2, 2007

Exercise and inflammatory bowel disease?

I'm definitely no expert in this - and I'll have to tread carefully because I know someone who is an expert in IBD....but it seems here that there is an indication that exercise - strenuous exercise - could balance the pro and anti inflammatory cytokines that when imbalanced in IBD give rise to problems in the mucosal lining of the bowel.

IBD is a a nasty disease so if exercising can help to prevent it, it is a good reason to exercise. Still, speaking to my tame immunologist, people with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease are often simply not able to exercise.

Repeated exercise in mice alters expression of IL-10 and TNF-alpha in intestinal lymphocytes.
Hoffman-Goetz L, Spagnuolo PA, Guan J.

Intestinal inflammation is characterized by mucosal damage that may arise, in part, to imbalances in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The purpose of this study was to describe the effects of repeated bouts of strenuous exercise on cytokine expression in mouse intestinal lymphocytes (IL). Thirty-four female C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to three groups: three repeated bouts of treadmill running separated by 24h followed by sacrifice immediately or after a 24h period or a sedentary (no exercise) control. The pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNF-alpha, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, were measured in IL by Western blotting. IL-10 concentration increased by 48% (p<0.05) in the immediate group compared to the sedentary control. TNF-alpha levels in mouse IL were significantly lower 24h after completion of the exercise protocol compared to the immediate group (p<0.05). The results suggest a possible physiological compensation in which intestinal lymphocytes increase the expression of IL-10 in response to exercise-induced stress.

1 comment:

Marian said...

Care needs to be taken in the extrapolation of these results from mice to man. There is a mouse model known as the IL10-knockout mouse, in which the IL10 gene has been deleted. This mouse produces inflammation in the bowel, not unlike inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Therefore, it was thought that treatment of IBD patients with IL10 would have a beneficial effect, but when this was tried, had little effect. The point being, that effects of IL10 in mice may be different from those in man.