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Panminerva Medica 2021 Feb 10

DOI: 10.23736/S0031-0808.21.04266-X


language: English

Exercise for slowing the progression of atherosclerotic process: effects on inflammatory markers

Crescenzo TESTA 1, Anna DI LORENZO 1, Alessandro PARLATO 1, Giuseppe D’AMBROSIO 1, Aurora MEROLLA 1, Mario PACILEO 2, Gabriella IANNUZZO 3, Marco GENTILE 3, Cinzia NUGARA 4, Filippo M. SARULLO 4, Cesare DE GREGORIO 5, 6, Antonello D’ANDREA 2, Carlo VIGORITO 1, Elio VENTURINI 7, Francesco GIALLAURIA 1, 8

1 Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy; 2 Unit of Cardiology and Intensive Care, Umberto I Hospital, Nocera Inferiore, Salerno, Italy; 3 Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University, Naples, Italy; 4 Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Unit, Buccheri La Ferla Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Palermo, Italy; 5 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Cardiology Unit, University Hospital of Messina, Messina, Italy; 6 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Post-graduate Residency School in Cardiovascular Diseases, University Hospital of Messina, Messina, Italy; 7 Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Azienda USL Toscana Nord-Ovest, Cecina Civil Hospital, Cecina, Livorno, Italy; 8 Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of New England, Armidale NSW, Australia


Atherosclerosis is a dynamic process driven by all cardiovascular risk factors that can be briefly divided into an early and a late phase. Inflammation is one of the fundamental substrates that initiates the atherosclerotic process in the early stages and promotes and maintains it in the final stages. In the last decades, clinical and experimental data have shown that inflammation is supported by mediators that respond to physical activity. The present review aims at investigating the effect of physical exercise on inflammatory mediators, both the positive ones that therefore have a pro-inflammatory effect (interleukin 6, c-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor alpha, interferon gamma, high-mobility group box-1), and the negative ones which have an anti-inflammatory effect (interleukin 10). Pooled data support the evidence that physical exercise is able to directly modulate the activity of inflammatory cytokines slowing down or preventing the formation of the atherosclerotic stage.

KEY WORDS: Exercise training; Atherosclerosis; Inflammation; C-reactive protein; Interleukin 6; Interferon gamma; High-mobility group box-1

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