Eccentric exercise can result in muscle damage and interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion. Glycogen availability is a potent stimulator of IL-6 secretion. We examined effects of eccentric exercise in a low-glycogen state on neuromuscular function and plasma IL-6 secretion. Twelve active men (23 ± 4 yr, 179 ± 5 cm, 77 ± 10 kg, means ± SD) completed two downhill treadmill runs (gradient, −12%, 5 × 8 min; speed, 12.1 ± 1.1 km/h) with normal (NG) and reduced muscle glycogen (RG) in randomized order and at least 6 wk apart. Muscle glycogen was reduced using an established cycling protocol until exhaustion and dietary manipulation the evening before the morning run. Physiological responses were measured up to 48 h after the downhill runs. During recovery, force deficits of musculus quadriceps femoris by maximal isometric contractions were similar. Changes in low-frequency fatigue were larger with RG. Voluntary activation and plasma IL-6 levels were similar in recovery between conditions. It is concluded that unaccustomed, damaging eccentric exercise with low muscle glycogen of the m. quadriceps femoris 1) exacerbated low-frequency fatigue but 2) had no additional effect on IL-6 secretion. Neuromuscular impairment after eccentric exercise with low muscle glycogen appears to have a greater peripheral component in early recovery.
- keyword: interleukin-6
- eccentric exercise
- muscle glycogen
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