Objective: To investigate if the exercise-induced immune response contributes to the exercise-induced increase in brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in healthy athletes. This has previously been speculated, as elevated concentrations of BNP or N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in cardiovascular patients were found to be related to immune reactions and elevations in inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 6 (IL-6).
Methods: Stored serum samples were analysed for NT-proBNP concentrations of 14 healthy endurance athletes (mean age: 25 (SD 5) years; VO2peak 67 (SD 6) ml/min/kg), who had been examined previously for exercise-induced immune reactions and their dependence on carbohydrate supplementation (6 or 12% carbohydrate vs placebo beverages) after three bouts of 4 h cycling at a given workload of 70% of the individual anaerobic threshold. Venous blood samples were taken before, immediately after, and 1 h and 1 day after exercise. Leucocyte subpopulations were determined immediately after blood sampling by flow cytometry. Serum samples for posterior analysis of C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, cortisol and NT-proBNP were stored at −80°C.
Results: The exercise-induced increases in NT-proBNP (p<0.001) were not related to the exercise-induced immune response, although exercise induced marked (CHOS-dependent) increases in IL-6, CRP, cortisol, leucocytes, neutrophils, monocytes and natural killer cells.
Conclusion: It is unlikely that the exercise-induced increases in NT-proBNP or BNP in healthy athletes are caused by the exercise-induced immune response. Therefore, exercise-induced increases in NT-proBNP or BNP in healthy athletes have to be differentiated from increases in cardiovascular patients with systemic inflammation.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Competing interests: None.
Funding: The study was supported by a grant from and approved by the board and the ethics committee of the National Institute of Sports Science of Germany (Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft: VF 0407/01/11/99-2000), Bonn, Germany.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.