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Fitness Shifts the Balance from Inflammation to Repair among People with Progressive MS

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  • Fitness Shifts the Balance from Inflammation to Repair among People with Progressive MS

    Fitness Shifts the Balance of BDNF and IL-6 from Inflammation to Repair among People with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

    by
    Augustine Joshua Devasahayam,
    Liam Patrick Kelly
    John Bradley Williams
    Craig Stephen Moore
    Michelle Ploughman

    Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
    Academic Editors: Lorena Perrone, Carola Yvette Förster and Michiaki Nagai
    Biomolecules 2021, 11(4), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11040504
    Received: 5 March 2021 / Revised: 20 March 2021 / Accepted: 24 March 2021 / Published: 26 March 2021
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic and Neurotrophic Pathways Driving the Brain-Heart-Axis)

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    Abstract

    Physical sedentarism is linked to elevated levels of circulating cytokines, whereas exercise upregulates growth-promoting proteins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The shift towards a ‘repair’ phenotype could protect against neurodegeneration, especially in diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). We investigated whether having higher fitness or participating in an acute bout of maximal exercise would shift the balance of BDNF and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in serum samples of people with progressive MS (n = 14), compared to matched controls (n = 8).

    Participants performed a maximal graded exercise test on a recumbent stepper, and blood samples were collected at rest and after the test. We assessed walking speed, fatigue, and maximal oxygen consumption (V⋅O2max). People with MS achieved about 50% lower V⋅O2max (p = 0.003) than controls. At rest, there were no differences in BDNF between MS and controls; however, IL-6 was significantly higher in MS. Higher V⋅O2max was associated with a shift in BDNF/IL-6 ratio from inflammation to repair (R = 0.7, p = 0.001) when considering both groups together.

    In the MS group, greater ability to upregulate BDNF was associated with faster walking speed and lower vitality. We present evidence that higher fitness indicates a shift in the balance of blood biomarkers towards a repair phenotype in progressive MS.

    Conclusions

    People with progressive MS using walking aids achieved about 50% lower V⋅O2max than controls. At rest, there were no significant differences in BDNF between MS and controls, however, IL-6 was significantly higher in MS. In the MS group, greater ability to upregulate BDNF during maximal exercise was strongly associated with faster walking speed and higher fatigue. Higher V⋅O2max was strongly associated with a shift in BDNF/IL-6 ratio from inflammation to repair when considering both groups together. We present evidence that fitness and exercise indicate a shift in the balance of blood biomarkers towards a repair phenotype even among people who have accumulated significant MS-related disability. How exercise-induced BDNF may influence the neuro-immune axis and interact with the blood-brain barrier is an important area of future research.

    FULL ARTICLE:
    https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/11/4/504
    Dave Bexfield
    ActiveMSers

  • #2
    The entire study is available not only to read for free, but also to share for free with attribution under the Creative Commons license.
    Dave Bexfield
    ActiveMSers

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