Recently, health awareness in Japan has been increasing and active exercise is now recommended to prevent lifestyle-related diseases. Cytokine activities have many positive effects in maintaining the health of a number of organs in the body. Myokines are cytokines secreted by skeletal muscles in response to exercise stimulation, and have recently generated much attention. Around 700,000 patients in Japan suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, making it the most prevalent autoimmune disease that requires active prevention and treatment. In the present study, a mouse model of spontaneous arthritis (SKG/Jcl) was subjected to continuous exercise stimulation, starting before the disease onset, to examine the effects of anti-inflammatory and inflammatory cytokine secretion on arthritis. For this stimulation, we developed a device that combines shaking and vibration. The results revealed that exercise stimulation delayed the onset of arthritis and slowed its progression. Thickened articular cartilage and multiple aggregates of chondrocytes were also observed. Further, exercise stimulation increased the expression of IL-6, IL-10, and IL-15, and inhibited TNF-α expression. From these results, we infer that the anti-inflammatory effects of IL-6 and IL-10, which showed increased expression upon exercise stimulation, inhibited the inflammatory activity of TNF-α and possibly delayed the onset of arthritis and slowed its progression. Novel methods for preventing and treating arthritis under clinical settings can be developed on the basis of these findings.
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