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Insights into the molecular etiology of exercise-induced inflammation: opportunities for optimizing performance

Authors Fatouros IG, Jamurtas AZ

Received 8 June 2016

Accepted for publication 21 September 2016

Published 21 October 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 175—186


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ning Quan

Ioannis G Fatouros, Athanasios Z Jamurtas

School of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Thessaly, Karies, Trikala, Greece

Abstract: The study of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is of paramount importance not only because it affects athletic performance but also because it is an excellent model to study the mechanisms governing muscle cachexia under various clinical conditions. Although, a large number of studies have investigated EIMD and its associated inflammatory response, several aspects of skeletal muscles responses remain unclear. In the first section of this article, the mechanisms of EIMD are reviewed in an attempt to follow the events that result in functional and structural alterations of skeletal muscle. In the second section, the inflammatory response associated with EIMD is presented with emphasis in leukocyte accumulation through mechanisms that are largely coordinated by pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines released either by injured muscle itself or other cells. The practical applications of EIMD and the subsequent inflammatory response are discussed with respect to athletic performance. Specifically, the mechanisms leading to performance deterioration and development of muscle soreness are discussed. Emphasis is given to the factors affecting individual responses to EIMD and the resulting interindividual variability to this phenomenon.

Keywords: muscle damage, exercise, aseptic inflammation, recovery, immune system, redox status

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