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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2011, Article ID 308965, 10 pages
Research Article

Immunomodulatory Effects of Aerobic Training in Obesity

1Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Campus Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Marchioninistr.15, 81377 Munich, Germany
2Department of Prevention and Sports Medicine, Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar (MRI), 80809 Munich, Germany
3Sports Medicine, Institute of Exercise and Health Sciences, University Basel, 4003 Basel, Switzerland
4Institute for Medical Informatics Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 81377 Munich, Germany

Received 3 August 2010; Revised 24 November 2010; Accepted 3 January 2011

Academic Editor: Natalija Novak

Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nickel 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.


Introduction. Physical inactivity and obesity are independent risk factors for atherosclerosis. We analyzed the immunomodulatory capacity of 10-week intensified exercise training (ET) in obese and lean athletes. Markers of the innate immune response were investigated in obese (ONE: ET≤40 km/week) and lean athletes (LNE: ET≤40 km/week and LE: ET≥55 km/week). Methods. Circulating dendritic cells (DC) were analyzed by flow-cytometry for BDCA-1/-2-expression. TLR-2/-4/-7 and MyD88 were analyzed by RT-PCR and Western blot. Circulating oxLDL levels were analyzed by ELISA. Results. BDCA-1 expression at baseline was lower in ONE compared to both other groups (ONE 0.15%; LNE 0.27%; LE 0.33%; 𝑃 < . 0 5 ), but significantly increased in ONE after training (+50%; 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). In contrast, BDCA-2 expression at baseline was higher in ONE (ONE 0.25%; LNE 0.11%; LE 0.09%; 𝑃 < . 0 5 ) and decreased in ONE after the 10-week training period (−27%; 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). Gene activations of TLR-4 and TLR-7 with corresponding protein increase were found for all three groups ( 𝑃 < . 0 1 / 𝑃 < . 0 5 ) compared to pre training. A reduction of oxLDL levels was seen in ONE (−61%; 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). Conclusions. Intensified exercise induces an increase of BDCA-1+ DCs and TLR-4/-7 in obese athletes. We hereby describe new immune modulatory effects, which—through regular aerobic exercise—modulate innate immunity and pro-inflammatory cytokines in obesity.