Basal, Circadian, and Acute Inflammation in Normal versus Overweight Men


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2012 - Volume 44 - Issue 12 - p 2290–2298
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318267b209
Basic Sciences

Increased inflammation is present in obese compared with normal weight individuals, but inflammation characteristics of nonobese, overweight individuals are less clear.

Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine whether basal, circadian, and posteccentric exercise inflammation levels differ between normal and overweight men.

Methods: Men (18–35 yr old) classified as normal weight (body mass index ≤25 kg·m−2, n = 20) and overweight (body mass index = 25–30 kg·m−2, n = 10) completed exercise (EX) and control (CON) conditions in random order. Maximal voluntary effort and eccentric actions (3 × 15) using the elbow flexor muscles of one arm were performed, and blood was collected preexercise and 4, 8, 12, and 24 h postexercise at 7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 7:00 a.m. Blood was collected on a time-matched schedule without exercise for CON. Soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), and cortisol responses (EX value − time-matched CON value) were measured.

Results: Basal CRP was higher in the overweight compared with normal weight group (mean ± SD, 0.542 ± 0.578 vs 1.395 ± 1.041 mg·L−1). Soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 increased (P < 0.05) 8 h postexercise in both groups, and the response was greater 12 and 24 h postexercise in the overweight compared with normal weight groups. Interleukin-6 increased (P < 0.05) 8 h postexercise, with a trend (P = 0.09) to be greater in the overweight group. CRP and cortisol responses were not detected.

Conclusions: The low-grade inflammation state in overweight compared with normal weight men includes both higher basal CRP concentrations and enhanced acute inflammation, but not in changes to the circadian patterns of cortisol and inflammation variables.

Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

Address for correspondence: Mary P. Miles, Ph.D., Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Box 173540, Bozeman, MT 59717; E-mail:

Submitted for publication February 2012.

Accepted for publication June 2012.

©2012The American College of Sports Medicine