Atherosclerosis is associated with low-grade inflammation involving circulating monocytes. It has been shown that the levels of intermediate pro-inflammatory monocytes are associated with cardiovascular mortality and risk of ischemic stroke. It also has been shown that physical activity (PA) decreases inflammation markers, incidence of strokes, and mortality. In this cross-sectional study, we tested the effect of PA on circulating monocytes phenotype rate. A total of 29 patients with a carotid stenosis > 50% were recruited. Levels of physical activity (MET.min/week) were measured by the GPAQ questionnaire, arterial samples of blood were collected to analyze monocyte phenotype (classical, intermediate and non-classical) assessed by flow cytometry, and venous blood samples were used to dose antioxidant activity and oxidative damage. Antioxidant capacity was reduced and oxidative damage increased in patients. There was a significant decrease in the percentage of classical and intermediate monocytes in moderately active patients as compared with non-active and highly active patients. Inversely, the rate of non-classical monocytes increased in moderately active patients. Intense PA appears to blunt the beneficial effects of moderate PA. Our study also suggests that PA could be beneficial in such patients by reducing the rate of intermediate monocytes known to predict the risk of ischemic stroke and by increasing the non-classical monocytes involved in lesions’ healing. Nevertheless, a longitudinal study would be necessary to confirm this hypothesis.
- physical activity