The Effects of Sprint Interval Training on Circulating TNF-α and IL-6 Independent of Changes in Abdominal Adipocyte Size in Overweight Adults
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Adipose tissue is actively involved in both the inflammatory response associated with obesity and in the determination of whole body substrate selection. In humans, evidence suggests that exercise improves adipose tissue function by reducing adipocyte inflammation; however, the mechanisms by which this occurs are not fully understood. It has been suggested that exercise may improve adipose tissue function by reducing adipose cell size. It remains unknown whether exercise influences adipose tissue function independent of reductions in adipocyte size. Elevated levels of circulating TNF-α and IL-6 are both associated with adipose tissue dysfunction and insulin resistance. The purpose of this study was to examine whether four weeks of sprint-interval training (SIT) was an effective means of reducing elevated circulating TNF-α and IL-6 independent of altering abdominal adipose cell size in men. 8 overweight healthy men (age: 25.13 years, weight; 113.5kg). Methods: VO2peak (L/min), adipocyte size, serum IL-6 and serum TNF-α were measured before and after 16 sessions of sprint interval training over four weeks. Results: The key findings of this experiment included that exercise significantly reduces circulating TNF-α (p=0.03) and IL-6 (p=0.05) independent of changes in weight, waist circumference and abdominal adipocyte size in overweight men. VO2 peak also significantly (p=0.04) improved after the four-week protocol. These results confirm that exercise can improve adipose tissue function independent of weight loss or changes in abdominal adipocyte size.
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