Muscle cytokine mRNA changes after 2.5 h of cycling: Influence of carbohydrate

David C. Nieman, J. Mark Davis, Dru A. Henson, Sarah J. Gross, Charles L. Dumke, Alan C. Utter, Debra M. Vinci, James A. Carson, Adrienne Brown, Steve R. McAnulty, Lisa S. McAnulty, N. Travis Triplett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Purpose: 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. Methods: Fifteen trained cyclists cycled for 2.5 h at 60% Wmax on two occasions while receiving 4 mL̇kg -1̇15 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) α, and IL-1β, using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Results: 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-α, but not IL-1β mRNA increased immediately postexercise compared to controls, with no differences between CHO and PLA. Conclusion: 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-α mRNA in athletes cycling 2.5 h at 60% Wmax.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1290
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Cortisol
  • Gene expression
  • Muscle glycogen
  • Real-time quantitative RT-PCR


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