Anti-inflammatory effect of recreational exercise in TNBS-induced colitis in rats: role of NOS/HO/MPO system

Szalai, Z., Szász, A., Nagy, I., Puskás, LG., Kupai, K., Király, A., Berkó, AM., Pósa, A., Strifler, G., Baráth, Z., Nagy, LI., Szabó, R., Pávó, I., Murlasits, Z., Gyöngyösi, M., Varga, C.

There are opposite views in the available literature: Whether physical exercise has a protective effect or not on the onset of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Therefore, we investigated the effects of recreational physical exercise before the induction of colitis. After 6 weeks of voluntary physical activity (running wheel), male Wistar rats were treated with TNBS (10 mg). 72 hrs after trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (TNBS) challenge we measured colonic gene (TNF-α, IL-1β, CXCL1 and IL-10) and protein (TNF-α) expressions of various inflammatory mediators and enzyme activities of heme oxygenase (HO), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) enzymes. Wheel running significantly increased the activities of HO, constitutive NOS (cNOS) isoform. Furthermore, 6 weeks of running significantly decreased TNBS-induced inflammatory markers, including extent of lesions, severity of mucosal damage, and gene expression of IL-1β, CXCL1, and MPO activity, while IL-10 gene expression and cNOS activity were increased. iNOS activity decreased and the activity of HO enzyme increased, but not significantly, compared to the sedentary TNBS-treated group. In conclusion, recreational physical exercise can play an anti-inflammatory role by downregulating the gene expression of proinflammatory mediators, inducing anti-inflammatory mediators, and modulating the activities of HO and NOS enzymes in a rat model of colitis.