PloS one

Treadmill exercise induces neutrophil recruitment into muscle tissue in a reactive oxygen species-dependent manner. An intravital microscopy study.

PMID 24798414


Intense exercise is a physiological stress capable of inducing the interaction of neutrophils with muscle endothelial cells and their transmigration into tissue. Mechanisms driving this physiological inflammatory response are not known. Here, we investigate whether production of reactive oxygen species is relevant for neutrophil interaction with endothelial cells and recruitment into the quadriceps muscle in mice subjected to the treadmill fatiguing exercise protocol. Mice exercised until fatigue by running for 56.3±6.8 min on an electric treadmill. Skeletal muscle was evaluated by intravital microscopy at different time points after exercise, and then removed to assess local oxidative stress and histopathological analysis. We observed an increase in plasma lactate and creatine kinase (CK) concentrations after exercise. The numbers of monocytes, neutrophils, and lymphocytes in blood increased 12 and 24 hours after the exercise. Numbers of rolling and adherent leukocytes increased 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours post-exercise, as assessed by intravital microscopy. Using LysM-eGFP mice and confocal intravital microscopy technology, we show that the number of transmigrating neutrophils increased 12 hours post-exercise. Mutant gp91phox-/- (non-functional NADPH oxidase) mice and mice treated with apocynin showed diminished neutrophil recruitment. SOD treatment promoted further adhesion and transmigration of leukocytes 12 hours after the exercise. These findings confirm our hypothesis that treadmill exercise increases the recruitment of leukocytes to the postcapillary venules, and NADPH oxidase-induced ROS plays an important role in this process.