Current hypotheses of the etiology of fibromyalgia (FM) include inflammatory disorders. We evaluated the effect of a pool-aquatic exercise program (8 months, two weekly 60-min sessions) on the inflammatory cytokine production by isolated monocytes, and on the serum concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP), in a group of female FM patients. [CRP is produced by the liver when there is inflammation throughout the body.]
Monocytes from FM patients released more IL-1beta, TNFalpha, IL-6, and IL-10 than those from an age-matched control group of healthy women (HW).
This inflammatory disorder in FM women was also manifested by high circulating concentrations of C-reactive protein.
Increased IL-6 with a concomitant decreased TNFalpha spontaneous release was found after 4 months (midway through) of the exercise program.
At the end of the program (8 months), monocytes from FM patients showed diminished spontaneous production of pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokines, with a similar spontaneous release of IL-1beta and IL-6 to that of HW, but a lower production of TNFalpha and higher of IL-10.
Lipopolysaccharide-induced production of IL-1beta, TNFalpha, IL-6, and IL-10 also decreased at the end of the exercise program, although IL-10 remained higher than HW.
The anti-inflammatory effect of the exercise program was also corroborated by a decrease in the circulating C-reactive protein concentration. Exercise also improved the health-related quality of life of FM patients.
Source: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, Jun 1, 2010. PMID: 20536907, by Ortega E, Bote ME, Giraldo E, García JJ. Research Group in Immunophysiology: Exercise, Stress and Health, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain. [E-mail: email@example.com]