Exercise-Induced Changes in Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass Are Regulated by IL-6 Signaling: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Anne-Sophie Wedell-Neergaard, Louise Lang Lehrskov, Regitse Højgaard Christensen, Grit Elster Legaard, Emma Dorph, Monica Korsager Larsen, Natja Launbo, Sabrina Ravn Fagerlind, Sidsel Kofoed Seide, Stine Nymand, Maria Ball, Nicole Vinum, Camilla Noerfelt Dahl, Marie Henneberg, Mathias Ried-Larsen, Janus Damm Nybing, Robin Christensen, Jaya Birgitte Rosenmeier, Kristian Karstoft, Bente Klarlund PedersenHelga Ellingsgaard, Rikke Krogh-Madsen

192 Citations (Scopus)


Visceral adipose tissue is harmful to metabolic health. Exercise training reduces visceral adipose tissue mass, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) stimulates lipolysis and is released from skeletal muscle during exercise. We hypothesized that exercise-induced reductions in visceral adipose tissue mass are mediated by IL-6. In this randomized placebo-controlled trial, we assigned abdominally obese adults to tocilizumab (IL-6 receptor antibody) or placebo during a 12-week intervention with either bicycle exercise or no exercise. While exercise reduced visceral adipose tissue mass, this effect of exercise was abolished in the presence of IL-6 blockade. Changes in body weight and total adipose tissue mass showed similar tendencies, whereas lean body mass did not differ between groups. Also, IL-6 blockade increased cholesterol levels, an effect not reversed by exercise. Thus, IL-6 is required for exercise to reduce visceral adipose tissue mass and emphasizes a potentially important metabolic consequence of IL-6 blockade.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)844-855.e3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Exercise-Induced Changes in Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass Are Regulated by IL-6 Signaling: A Randomized Controlled Trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this