Objective: Subclinical chronic inflammation could be a unifying factor linking type 2 diabetes (T2D) and atherosclerosis. The beneficial effects of physical activity on a reduced risk of coronary heart disease could at least in part be mediated by improved markers of inflammation.
Research design and methods: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of 4 weeks of physical training on plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), adiponectin and IL-10 in 60 individuals with normal glucose tolerance, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or T2D.
Results: In patients with IGT and T2D, significant improvement in body fat, fitness level, glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity after 4 weeks of physical training was associated with significantly improved plasma concentrations of adiponectin and CRP, but not IL-6. Regression analysis demonstrated only for the anti-inflammatory parameters adiponectin and IL-10 a significant relationship with the decrease in fasting plasma glucose, whereas changes in IL-6 and CRP were not significantly related to changes in fasting plasma glucose, body fat, maximal oxygen uptake, or insulin sensitivity. In a multivariate linear regression analysis, only changes in circulating adiponectin, fasting plasma glucose and percentage body fat were determinants of changes in insulin sensitivity.
Conclusions: Physical training was associated with a near normalization of adiponectin and CRP plasma concentrations in subjects with IGT and T2D. Increased insulin sensitivity after training was most strongly related to changes in adiponectin plasma concentrations, in fasting plasma glucose and percentage body fat, whereas changes in IL-6, IL-10 and CRP plasma concentrations did not significantly contribute to improved insulin sensitivity.