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Low-intensity physical activity may protect pregnant women against spontaneous preterm labour: a prospective case-control study

Publication: Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
25 September 2020

Abstract

The innate immune system plays a significant role in onset of parturition. Maternal antenatal physical activity can influence immune function and timing of labour. We examined physical activity patterns and concentration of 19 cytokines at 16 and 27 weeks gestational age (GA), in peripheral plasma of 28 asymptomatic women who later had spontaneous preterm labour (SPTL, <37 weeks GA) and 52 women who later delivered at term (TL; ≥37 weeks GA). This nested case-control study used data from the Ontario Birth Study cohort. Exercise was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and cytokines were analyzed using Luminex assays. There was no significant difference in exercise patterns between SPTL and TL subjects. Plasma concentration of interleukin (IL)-10 was significantly higher in SPTL women at 16 and 27 weeks, while tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), IL-8, and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 concentrations were increased at 27 weeks GA (p < 0.05). Concentration of IL-10 was negatively correlated with the amount of reported walking (ρ = −0.264, p = 0.03). Women should be encouraged to partake in low-intensity exercise throughout pregnancy, as it may confer a protective effect against SPTL through IL-10–mediated pathways. Additionally, plasma cytokine analysis at 27 weeks GA may be useful for predicting SPTL in asymptomatic women.
Novelty:
In women that delivered preterm, plasma levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 were significantly elevated at 16 and 27 weeks of gestation.
Plasma levels of IL-10 were negatively correlated with the amount of reported walking.
Concentration of IL-8, MCP-1 and TNF-α were increased in plasma of asymptomatic women that subsequently deliver preterm.

Résumé

Le système immunitaire inné joue un rôle important dans le début de la parturition. L’activité physique prénatale maternelle peut influencer la fonction immunitaire et le moment du travail. Nous examinons à 16 et 27 semaines d’âge gestationnel (« GA ») les schémas d’activité physique et la concentration de 19 cytokines dans le plasma périphérique de 28 femmes asymptomatiques qui ont par la suite un travail prématuré spontané (« SPTL », <37 semaines de GA) et 52 femmes qui accouchent plus tard à terme (« TL », ≥37 semaines de GA). Cette étude cas-témoins imbriquée utilise des données de la cohorte de l’étude sur les naissances en Ontario. L’exercice est évalué à l’aide du questionnaire international sur l’activité physique et les cytokines sont analysées à l’aide des dosages Luminex. Il n’y a pas de différence significative dans les schémas d’exercice entre les sujets SPTL et TL. La concentration plasmatique d’interleukine (« IL-10 ») est significativement plus élevée chez les femmes SPTL à 16 et 27 semaines; les concentrations de facteur de nécrose tumorale alpha (« TNF-α », IL-8 et MCP-1 sont augmentées à la 27e semaine de GA (p < 0,05). La concentration d’IL-10 est négativement corrélée avec la quantité de marche rapportée (ρ = −0,264, p = 0,03). Les femmes doivent être encouragées à participer à des exercices de faible intensité tout au long de la grossesse, car cela peut conférer un effet protecteur contre le SPTL via les voies médiées par IL-10. De plus, l’analyse des cytokines plasmatiques à 27 semaines de GA peut être utile pour prédire le SPTL chez les femmes asymptomatiques. [Traduit par la Rédaction]
Les nouveautés :
Chez les femmes qui accouchent avant terme, la concentration plasmatique de cytokine anti-inflammatoire IL-10 est significativement élevée aux 16e et 27e semaines de gestation.
La concentration plasmatique d’IL-10 est corrélée négativement avec la quantité de marche rapportée.
La concentration d’IL-8, de MCP-1 et de TNF-α augmente dans le plasma des femmes asymptomatiques qui accouchent par la suite avant terme.

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Published In

cover image Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
Volume 46Number 4April 2021
Pages: 337 - 345

History

Received: 29 November 2019
Accepted: 16 September 2020
Accepted manuscript online: 25 September 2020
Version of record online: 25 September 2020

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Key Words

  1. physical exercise
  2. pregnancy
  3. labour
  4. prematurity
  5. cytokines

Mots-clés

  1. exercice physique
  2. grossesse
  3. travail
  4. prématurité
  5. cytokines

Authors

Affiliations

Valerie Steckle*
Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Toronto, ON M5T 3H7, Canada.
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G5, Canada.
Oksana Shynlova* [email protected]
Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Toronto, ON M5T 3H7, Canada.
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G5, Canada.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z5, Canada.
Stephen Lye
Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Toronto, ON M5T 3H7, Canada.
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G5, Canada.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z5, Canada.
Alan Bocking
Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Toronto, ON M5T 3H7, Canada.
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G5, Canada.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z5, Canada.

Notes

*
These authors contributed equally.
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