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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 370354, 5 pages
Research Article

Differences in Plasma Cytokine Levels between Elite Kayakers and Nonathletes

1Center for Sports and Physical Activity, Sport Sciences and Physical Education School, University of Coimbra, 3040-156 Coimbra, Portugal
2Health and Biotechnology Institute, Federal University of Amazonas, 69460-000 Coari, AM, Brazil
3Center of Histocompatibility, 3001-301 Coimbra, Portugal
4Human Kinetics School, Technical University of Lisbon, 1499-002 Lisbon, Portugal
5Estádio Universitário, Pavilhão 3, Sta. Clara, 3040-156 Coimbra, Portugal

Received 15 April 2013; Accepted 14 May 2013

Academic Editor: Akito Tanoue

Copyright © 2013 G. F. Borges et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Regular moderate exercise has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that help prevent several chronic diseases. However, the effects of chronic training an elite athletes have not been the focus of much research. This study aimed to determine whether there were differences in cytokine levels (IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-10, IL-18, IFN-γ, and TNF-α) in circulating peripheral blood (PB) between elite kayakers and nonathletes. Subjects were 13 elite male kayakers, aged years, with average body mass of  kg and  cm height and with a of  mL·kg−1·min−1. The nonathletes were 7 men, aged years, body mass of  kg, and  cm height. Blood samples were collected after six weeks of offtraining and before the start of a new training season. PB leukocyte populations were determined by flow cytometry. Cytokine levels were quantified by ELISA. When nonathletes were compared with the kayakers, the latter exhibited lower plasma concentrations of IL-1β, IL-18, and IFN-γ as well as a lower concentration of IL-1ra. Positive correlations between IL-18 and B cells in the athletes were also found. These results seem to reinforce the anti-inflammatory role of regular training.