Effect of Different Volumes of Interval Training and Continuous Exercise on Interleukin-22 in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Trial

Joyce Ramos, Lance Dalleck, Rebecca Stennett, Gregore Iven Mielke, Shelley E. Keating, Lydia Murray, Sumaira Hasnain, Robert Fassett, Michael McGuckin, Ilaria Croci, Jeff Coombes

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Introduction: IL-22 may have a role in the alleviation of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) via protection of pancreatic beta and endothelial cells from oxidative and lipid-induced damage. We aimed to investigate the effects of moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) and different volumes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on changes in circulating IL-22.
Methods: This was a sub-study of the “Exercise in the prevention of Metabolic Syndrome” (EX-MET) a multi-center, randomized trial. This study used data collected at the Brisbane site. Thirty-nine individuals with MetS were randomized to one of three 16-wk interventions: 1) MICT (n=10, 30min at 60– 70% HR peak, 5x/wk); 2) 4HIIT (n=13, 4x4min at 85– 95% HR peak, interspersed with 3min of active recovery at 50– 70% HR peak, 3x/wk); or 3) 1HIIT (n=16, 1x4min at 85– 95% HR peak, 3x/wk). Serum IL-22 concentration was measured following a 12-hr fast via an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, before and after the intervention. MetS severity, insulin resistance (IR), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were also measured via MetS z-score, HOMA-IR, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and indirect calorimetry (maximal exercise test), respectively.
Results: The median (IQR) IL-22% changes from pre- to post-intervention in the MICT, 4HIIT, and 1HIIT groups were − 17% (− 43.0% to 31.3%), +16.5% (− 18.9% to 154.9%), and +15.9% (− 28.7% to 46.1%), respectively. Although there were no significant between-group differences in IL-22 concentration change, there was a medium-to-large group × time interaction effect [F(2,35)=2.08, p=0.14, η2=0.14].
Conclusion: Although there was no statistically significant between-group difference in IL-22 change, the study suggests that different exercise intensities may have opposing effects on IL-22 concentration in individuals with MetS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2443-2453
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2020


  • high-intensity interval training
  • IL-22
  • inflammation
  • cardiovascular disease
  • metabolic syndrome
  • cytokine
  • Cytokine
  • High-intensity interval training
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolic syndrome


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