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Exercise Training Attenuates Septic Responses in Conscious Rats


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: March 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 3 - p 435-442
doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31802d11c8
BASIC SCIENCES: Original Investigations

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of exercise training on the changes induced by endotoxin in arterial pressure, heart rate (HR), blood cells, biochemical factors, plasma nitrite/nitrate, methyl guanidine (MG), proinflammatory cytokines, and pathology of the heart, liver, and lung.

Methods: Twenty-four 10-wk-old male Wistar-Kyoto rats weighing 320-350 g were randomly assigned into two groups. The exercise-trained group (Tr; N = 12) received exercise training for 4 wk. The control (Con) group was placed on the treadmill and remained sedentary for the same time period. Endotoxemia was induced by intravenous (i.v.) infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 10 mg·kg−1) for 20 min, after which the animals were observed for 72 h. The femoral artery was cannulated to monitor arterial pressure and HR. Blood samples were collected 1 h before and at various times after LPS infusion. We determined plasma nitrite/nitrate, MG, white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, red blood cells, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine (Cr), aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, lactic acid dehydrogenase, creatine phosphokinase, amylase, lipase, tumor necrosis factorα, and interleukin-1β. The heart, liver, and lung were taken for pathological examination and assessment after the experiment.

Results: The Tr group had lower basal levels of arterial pressure, HR, MG, neutrophils, and Cr than the Con group. Exercise training attenuated the LPS-induced decreases in blood cells. After LPS administration, plasma levels of nitrate/nitrite, MG, biochemical factors, and proinflammatory cytokines in the Con group were higher than in the Tr group. Pathological examination and assessment revealed that cardiac, hepatic, and pulmonary injury were more severe in the Con group than in the Tr group.

Conclusions: Exercise training attenuates septic responses and protects organs from damage in sepsis.

1Institute of Medical Sciences; 2Institute of Integrative Physiology and Clinical Sciences; 3Division of Surgical Critical Care Unit; 4Department of Neuro-Medical Scientific Center; 5Department of Pathology, Tzu Chi Hospital and University, Hualien, TAIWAN; and 6Department of Sports and Leisure, National Ton-Hwa University, Hualien, TAIWAN

Address for correspondence: Hsing I. Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Institute of Medical Sciences and Integrative Physiology and Clinical Sciences, Tzu Chi University, 701, Section 3, Chung Yang Rd., Hualien 97004, Taiwan; E-mail:

Submitted for publication June 2006.

Accepted for publication October 2006.

©2007The American College of Sports Medicine