Citation Info

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 37(8):1283-1290. Available:

Muscle cytokine mRNA changes after 2.5 h of cycling: influence of carbohydrate.

Nieman DC, Davis JM, Henson DA, Gross SJ, Dumke CL, Utter AC, Vinci DM, Carson JA, Brown A, Mcanulty SR, Mcanulty LS, Triplett NT.


To study the effect of carbohydrate compared to placebo ingestion on plasma cytokines and muscle cytokine mRNA following 2.5 h of intensive cycling in 15 trained cyclists.

Fifteen trained cyclists cycled for 2.5 h at 60% Wmax on two occasions while receiving 4 mLkg^-1∑15 min^-1 carbohydrate (6%) (CHO) or placebo (PLA) beverages in a randomized, counterbalanced design. Blood and vastus lateralis muscle biopsy samples were collected before and after exercise and 12 h postexercise and compared to samples taken from five cyclists who rested in the lab during the exercise sessions. Blood cell counts were determined, and plasma was analyzed for interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-1 receptor antagonist (ra), IL-8, cortisol, epinephrine, glucose, and insulin. Muscle was analyzed for glycogen content and relative gene expression of four cytokines, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ‚àû, and IL-1Œ≤, using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.

Plasma glucose and insulin were higher, and epinephrine, cortisol, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-1ra, but not IL-8, were significantly lower postexercise in CHO versus PLA. Muscle glycogen content decreased 68% immediately postexercise and the pattern of change did not differ between CHO and PLA. Muscle IL-6, IL-8, TNF-‚àû, but not IL-1Œ= mRNA increased immediately postexercise compared to controls, with no differences between CHO and PLA.

CHO compared to PLA beverage ingestion attenuated the increase in plasma cortisol, epinephrine, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-1ra, but not muscle IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-‚àû mRNA in athletes cycling 2.5 h at 60% Wmax.