Long-term bicycle riding ameliorates the depression of the patients undergoing hemodialysis by affecting the levels of interleukin-6 and interleukin-18

Chunhui Zhao, Hui Ma, Lei Yang, Yong Xiao
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2017, 13: 91-100

PURPOSE: Hemodialysis patients with depression have a higher risk of death and hospitalization. Although there is pharmacological management for the depression of hemodialysis patients, the adverse effect of the drug limits the use. The nonpharmacological way, bicycle riding, may be an effective way for the therapy of the depression in hemodialysis patients. However, the underlying mechanism of this relationship is still not fully explained, while interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-18 (IL-18) are associated with depression and exercise. Thus, the effects of bicycle riding on the levels of the interleukin were explored.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: One hundred and eighty-nine patients with chronic hemodialysis were selected and randomly assigned to three groups of medicine (MG, received 20-mg escitalopram daily), medicine and aerobic exercise (MAG, received 20-mg escitalopram daily and bicycle riding six times weekly), and only aerobic exercise (AG, received 20-mg placebo daily and bicycle riding six times weekly). The whole experiment lasted for 18 weeks. The quality of life (36-Item Short Form Health Survey) and depression severity according to criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , fourth edition [ DSM-IV ] were measured before and at the end of this study. The serum levels of IL-6 and IL-18 were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.

RESULTS: The quality of life was improved and depression severity was reduced significantly in the MAG and AG groups when compared with the MG group ( P <0.05). Serum levels of IL-6 and IL-18 were the highest in the MG group, moderate in the MAG group and the lowest in AG group. On the other hand, the serum levels of IL-6 and IL-18 were closely associated with depression scores ( P <0.05).

CONCLUSION: Aerobic exercise improves the quality of life and ameliorates the depression severity of the patients undergoing hemodialysis by affecting the levels of IL-6 and IL-18. Bicycle riding is a potential way for the depression therapy of the patients with chronic hemodialysis.

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