Myofibers Express IL-6 after Eccentric Exercise

Akihito Tomiya, Toshimi Aizawa, Ryoichi Nagatomi, Hiroomi Sensui, Shoichi Kokubun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Interleukin (IL)-6 is locally produced in skeletal muscles and shows a remarkable increase in plasma after eccentric exercises. Objective: To elucidate the cell types in the muscles responsible for IL-6 production after eccentric exercises. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: An eccentric contraction model was made using electrical stimulation. The authors investigated the muscle damage and regeneration processes after eccentric exercises histologically, and the cell types expressing IL-6 and its subcellular compartimentalization with time immunohistochemically after eccentric exercises. Results: Swollen myofibers were detected from 8 hours to 3 days after exercises. Disrupted myofibers were detected from 24 hours to 7 days, with a peak of 3 days. IL-6 was detected only in the cytoplasm of myofibers until 12 hours; thereafter, it was found in the inflammatory cells and proliferating satellite cells as well. The swollen myofibers were negatively stained for IL-6. The positive ratios of IL-6 in myofibers immediately increased after exercises, peaked in 12 hours, and then decreased. Conclusions: After eccentric exercises, IL-6 expression increased in myofibers preceding the disruption of myofibers. IL-6 might be closely related to muscle damage caused by strenuous exercises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-508
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar


  • Eccentric exercise
  • Interleukin (IL)-6
  • Muscle damage
  • Skeletal muscle


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