Cytokines (IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α) are increased after exhaustive exercise in the rat retroperitoneal (RPAT) and mesenteric adipose tissue (MEAT) pads. On the other hand, these cytokines show decreased expression in these depots in response to a chronic exercise protocol. However, the effect of exercise with overload combined with a short recovery period on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine expression is unknown. In the present study, we investigated the regulation of cytokine production in the adipose tissue of rats after an overtraining-inducing exercise protocol.
Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: Control (C), Trained (Tr), Overtrained (OT) and recovered overtrained (R). Cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α and IL-10) levels and Toll Like Receptor 4 (TLR4), Nuclear Factor kBp65 (NF-kBp65), Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HSL) and, Perilipin protein expression were assessed in the adipose tissue. Furthermore, we analysed plasma lipid profile, insulin, testosterone, corticosterone and endotoxin levels, and liver triacylglycerol, cytokine content, as well as apolipoprotein B (apoB) and TLR4 expression in the liver.
OT and R groups exhibited reduced performance accompanied by lower testosterone and increased corticosterone and endotoxin levels when compared with the control and trained groups. IL-6 and IL-10 protein levels were increased in the adipose tissue of the group allowed to recover, in comparison with all the other studied groups. TLR-4 and NF-kBp65 were increased in this same group when compared with both control and trained groups. The protein expression of HSL was increased and that of Perilipin, decreased in the adipose in R in relation to the control. In addition, we found increased liver and serum TAG, along with reduced apoB protein expression and IL-6 and IL-10 levels in the of R in relation to the control and trained groups.
In conclusion, we have shown that increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines in the adipose tissue after an overtraining protocol may be mediated via TLR-4 and NF-kBp65 signalling, leading to an inflammatory state in this tissue.