The Impact of a 24-h Ultra-Marathon on Circulatory Endotoxin and Cytokine Profile

S.K. Gill, Joanne Hankey, A. Wright, S. Marczak, K. Hemming, D.M. Allerton, P. Ansley-Robson, R.J.S. Costa

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72 Citations (Scopus)


The study aimed to determine circulatory endotoxin concentration, cytokine profile, and gastrointestinal symptoms of ultra-endurance runners (UER, n=17) in response to a 24-h continuous ultra-marathon competition (total distance range: 122–208 km) conducted in temperate ambient conditions (0–20°C) in mountainous terrain. Body mass and body temperature were measured, and venous blood samples were taken before and immediately after competition. Samples were analysed for gram-negative bacterial endotoxin, C-reactive protein, cytokine profile, and plasma osmolality. Gastrointestinal symptoms were also monitored throughout competition. Mean exercise-induced body mass loss was (mean±SD) 1.7±1.8% in UER. Pre- and post-competition plasma osmolality in UER was 286±11 mOsmol·kg?1 and 286±9 mOsmol·kg?1, respectively. Pre- to post-competition increases (p0.05). Gastrointestinal symptoms were reported by 75% of UER, with no symptoms reported by CON. IL-10 (r=0.535) and IL-8 (r=0.503) were positively correlated with gastrointestinal symptoms. A 24-h continuous ultra-marathon competition in temperate ambient conditions resulted in a circulatory endotoxaemia and pro-inflammatory cytokinaemia, counteracted by a compensatory anti-inflammatory response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-695
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number08
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart


  • cytokinaemia
  • endotoxaemia
  • energy balance
  • inflammatory
  • physical exertion
  • sleep deprivation


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