The acute effects of systemic cytokines on peripheral nerve function in humans
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Cytokines have been shown to cause a reduction in nerve conduction when examined using animal models. Such effects, if shown in humans, could result in detrimental effects to physical function during periods heightened systemic cytokine concentrations. The study investigated the acute effects of cytokines on nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and functional measures. Measures were taken under both basal and elevated cytokine concentrations to determine any corresponding changes to NCV. A significant positive correlation was found between the cytokine IL-6 and NCV at 2 hours post-exercise (r=0.606, p=0.048). A significant negative correlation was found between IL-1ra and NCV at 24 hours post-exercise (r=-0.652, p=0.021). A significant positive correlation was also found between IL-1ra and endurance at 1 hour post-exercise (r=0.643, p=0.033). As such, it would seem that IL-6 may potentially act to enhance nerve function while other cytokines such as IL-1ra may have negative effects and reduce NCV.