Changes in CEBPB expression in circulating leukocytes following eccentric elbow-flexion exercise

Jamie Blackwell, Lorna W. Harries, Luke C. Pilling, Luigi Ferrucci, Andrew Jones, David Melzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In mouse models, CCAAT enhancer-binding protein beta (CEBPB) is necessary for M2 macrophage-mediated regeneration after muscle injury. In humans, CEBPB expression in blood was strongly associated with muscle strength. In this study we aimed to test whether CEBPB expression in blood in people is increased 2 days after exercise designed to induce muscle damage and subsequent repair. Sixteen healthy male volunteers undertook elbow flexor exercises designed to induce acute muscle micro-damage. Peripheral blood samples were collected at baseline and days 1, 2, 4 and 7 following exercise. Expression of CEBPB and related genes were analysed by qRT-PCR. Extent of muscle damage was determined by decline in maximal voluntary isometric torque and by plasma creatine kinase activity. Nine subjects had peak (day 4) creatine kinase activity exceeding 10,000 U/l. In this subgroup, CEBPB expression was elevated from baseline to 2 days post exercise (paired-samples t(1,8) = 3.72, p = 0.006). Related expression and selected cytokine changes after exercise did not reach significance. Muscle-damaging exercise in humans can be followed by induction of CEBPB transcript expression in peripheral blood. Associations between CEBPB expression in blood and muscle strength may be consistent with the CEBPB-dependent muscle repair process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physiological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Inflammation
  • Macrophage
  • Muscle damage
  • Muscle repair
  • Muscle strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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