sIL-6R is related to weekly training mileage and psychological wellbeing in athletes
Hughes, Michael G.
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INTRODUCTION: IL-6 has been ascribed both positive and negative roles in the context of exercise and training. The dichotomous nature of IL-6 signalling appears to be determined by the respective concentration of its receptors (both membrane-bound (IL-6R) and soluble (sIL-6R) forms). The purpose of the present study was to investigate the response of sIL-6R to long-term training, and to investigate the relationship between sIL-6R, self-reported measures of wellbeing, and upper respiratory illness symptoms (URS) in highly-trained endurance athletes. METHODS: Twenty-nine athletes provided resting blood samples, and completed wellbeing and illness monitoring questionnaires, on a weekly basis for a period of 18 weeks during a winter training block. RESULTS: URS were not correlated to concentrations of sIL-6R or cortisol, but there was a non-significant trend (P=0.08) for the most illness-prone athletes (as defined by self-reported illness questionnaire data) to exhibit higher average sIL-6R concentrations compared to the least ill (23.7±4.3 Vs 20.1±3.8 ng/ml). Concentrations of sIL-6R were positively correlated to subjective measures of stress (r=0.64, P=0.004) and mood (r=0.49, P=0.02), but were negatively correlated to sleep quality (r=-0.43, P=0.05) and cortisol concentration (r=-0.17, P=0.04). In a sub-group of 10 athletes, weekly training distance was quantified by coaching staff, and this negatively correlated with sIL-6R in the following week (r=-0.74, P<0.005). CONCLUSION: The findings of the current study suggest that sIL-6R is responsive to prolonged periods of exercise training, with sIL-6R levels varying related to the volume of training performed in the preceding week. Importantly, our data indicate that changes in sIL-6R levels could be linked to common symptoms of overreaching such as high levels of stress, and/or depressed mood.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise;
Cullen, T., Thomas, A.W., Webb, R., Phillips, T. and Hughes, M.G. (2017) 'sIL-6R is related to weekly training mileage and psychological well-being in athletes', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 49 (6), pp.1176–1183
This article was published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise on 19 January 2017 (online ahead of print), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001210
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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