Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 538 - 546

Research article
Markers of Inflammation, Endothelial Activation and Autoimmunity in Adolescent Female Gymnasts
Eyad Alshammari1, Shahida Shafi1, Jaana Nurmi-Lawton1, Dayangku Fatiha Pengiran Burut1, Susan Lanham-New1, Gordon Ferns1,2, 
Author Information
1 Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
2 Guy Hilton Research Centre, Institute of Science & Technology in Medicine, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK

Gordon Ferns
✉ Director, Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Keele, Guy Hilton Research Centre Thornburrow Drive, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire ST4 7QB, UK
Publish Date
Received: 23-03-2010
Accepted: 03-08-2010
Published (online): 01-12-2010
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High levels of physical activity have been linked to benefits in cardiovascular and bone health by affecting, in part, changes in proinflammatory profile. Therefore, we have aimed to assess the effects of intensive training on markers of inflammation, endothelial activation and auto-immunity in the absence of the potential confounding effects of incident atherosclerosis. The subjects comprised 25 competitive gymnasts and 19 healthy sedentary adolescent females, aged 8-17 years. Serum soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) and Hsp27 antibody titres were measured by ELISAs in a sample of adolescent girls who were either physically active (competitive gymnasts) or sedentary. The association between age, body mass index (BMI), dietary intake, serum hsCRP, sICAM-1 and Hsp27 antigen and antibody titres were determined. The mean serum sICAM-1 concentrations were significantly higher in the gymnasts compared to the sedentary females (0.29 ± 0.02 versus 0.23 ± 0.01 mg·L-1, p < 0.01). In contrast serum hsCRP concentrations were substantially lower in the gymnasts compared to the sedentary adolescent females (0.49 ± 0.03 versus 1.38 ± 0.19 mg·L-1, p < 0.001). Differences remained significant after adjustment for anthropometric factors. We also found that serum Hsp27 antigen concentrations were determined by dietary saturated fat intake (p < 0.001), and antibody titres to Hsp27 were determined by dietary PUFA (p < 0.001) after adjustment for BMI. Our findings show that young female gymnasts have an altered profile of inflammatory markers and endothelial activation compared to their less physically active peers.

Key words: Physical activity,, dietary intakes,, hsCRP,, sICAM-1,, Hsp27,, antibodies

           Key Points
  • Results showed that adolescent young female gymnasts have an altered serum inflammatory markers and endothelial activation, compared to their less physically active peers.
  • Physical activities improved immune system.
  • Differences in these biochemical data kept significant after adjustment for body weight and height.
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