Sleep quality and cytokine expression after an exhaustive exercise: influence of ACE polymorphism I/D

Jacopo A. Vitale, Angela Montaruli, Giovanni Michielon, Raffaele Scurati, Giampietro Alberti, Franca Carandente, Eliana Roveda

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Strenuous exercise affects immune system and stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 6 (IL-6) and the anti-inflammatory cytokines, mainly interleukin 10 (IL-10). IL-6 and IL-10 fluctuations can influence sleep quality. Many genetic tracts influence the immune system response to exercise. The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism (rs1799752) is one of the most investigated genetic variants correlated to the physical performance and immune system. The aim of this study was to evaluate: (a) the response to an exhaustive strength exercise in terms of IL-6 and IL-10 expression in relation to ACE polymorphisms; and (b) the sleep behavior in response to an exhaustive strength exercise in relation to ACE polymorphisms. All participants were subjected to the following procedures: (a) genotyping of ACE polymorphism, (b) assay cytokine expression (IL-6 and IL-10) pre- and post-exhaustive exercise, and (c) evaluation of sleep parameters pre- and post-exhaustive exercise by actigraphy. We showed that after the exhaustive exercise: (a) the ACE I/I, I/D, and D/D genotypes underwent an increase in IL-6 expression (p < 0.05); (b) only I/I and I/D genotypes increased significantly the IL-10 expression (p < 0.05); and (c) D/D genotypes showed a deterioration of sleep parameters: Sleep Efficiency and Immobile Time decreased (p < 0.05) while Moving Time increased (p < 0.01); the I/I and I/D genotypes showed no changes in sleep parameters. The increase of IL-10 observed in I/I and I/D genotypes could play a protective role on sleep. The ACE D/D genotype seems to be more exposed to sleep disturbance after exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalSleep and Biological Rhythms
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • ACE gene
  • Interleukin 10
  • Interleukin 6
  • Physical activity
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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