Endurance exercise causes interaction among stress hormones, cytokines, neutrophil dynamics, and muscle damage

Katsuhiko Suzuki, Manabu Totsuka, Shigeyuki Nakaji*, Mutsuo Yamada, Satoru Kudoh, Qiang Liu, Kazuo Sugawara, Kanemitsu Yamaya, Koki Sato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

265 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed adaptation mechanisms regulating systemic inflammatory response of the stressed body by using an experimental challenge of repeated exercise bouts and accompanying muscle inflammation. Eight untrained men bicycled at 90 W for 90 min, 3 days in a row. Exercise induced peripheral neutrophilia with a leftward shift of neutrophil nucleus and neutrophil priming for oxidative activity determined by luminol-dependent chemiluminescence. Plasma growth hormone and interleukin-6 rose significantly after exercise and were closely correlated with the neutrophil responses. Serum creatine kinase and myoglobin levels as muscle damage markers rose after exercise in 'delayed onset' and were closely correlated with the preceding neutrophil responses. These exercise-induced responses were strongest on day 1, but the magnitude gradually decreased with progressive daily exercise. In contrast, the magnitude of catecholamine responses to exercise sessions gradually rose, possibly suppressing neutrophil oxidative responses. These results indicate that stress-induced systemic release of bioactive substances may determine neutrophil mobilization and functional status, which then may affect local tissue damage of susceptible organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1360-1367
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Catecholamine
  • Growth hormone
  • Interleukin-6
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Systemic inflammatory response syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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