IL-6 and TNF-α responses to acute and regular exercise in adult individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS): a systematic review and meta-analysis

Parnian Shobeiri, Homa Seyedmirzaei, Nastaran Karimi, Fatemeh Rashidi, Antônio L. Teixeira, Serge Brand, Dena Sadeghi-Bahmani, Nima Rezaei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In both the general population and people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), physical exercise is associated with improved mental well-being. Moreover, there is evidence of the possible protection of physical activity against disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the question arises if acute or regular exercise has any impact on the immune system in PwMS. To answer this question, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on both plasma and serum cytokine levels (IL-6 and TNF-α) before and after acute and regular exercise among PwMS and compared to healthy controls. Method: We performed an online search via PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library till September 2021 to identify original studies on IL-6 and TNF-α changes after acute and regular exercise in PwMS and controls. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), 11 original studies were included in the meta-analysis. Sensitivity analyses were used to identify the origins of heterogeneity. R 4.0.4 was used to perform the meta-analysis of IL-6 and TNF-α levels before and after acute and regular exercise in PwMS, compared to controls. This study does not qualify for a clinical trial number. Results: IL-6 levels did neither increase nor decrease after acute and regular exercise in PwMS, and compared to controls (pre- vs. post-intervention: Standardized Mean Difference (SMD) -0.09, 95% CI [−0.29; 0.11], p-value = 0.37, PwMS vs. Control: SMD −0.08, 95% CI [−0.33; 0.16], p-value = 0.47). In PwMS, TNF-α levels decreased after regular exercise and when TNF-α levels of both acute and regular exercise were pooled (pre- vs. post-intervention: SMD −0.51, 95% CI [-0.91; 0.11], p-value = 0.01, PwMS vs. Control: SMD −0.23, 95% CI [−0.66; 0.18], p-value = 0.26). TNF-α levels did neither increase nor decrease after acute and regular exercise in PwMS, when compared to controls. Conclusion: This systematic review and meta-analysis show that exercise does not lead to significant changes in peripheral levels of IL-6 in PwMS in contrast to the observed response in healthy subjects and other medical contexts. However, regular exercise had a specific anti-inflammatory effect on blood TNF-α levels in PwMS. It remains to be investigated why PwMS display this different exercise-induced pattern of cytokines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number185
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cytokine
  • Exercise
  • Interleukin-6
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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