Low back pain is a common clinical problem that causes disability and impaired quality of life. While the reason behind low back pain was largely considered to be of musculoskeletal origin, the contribution of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress could never be overlooked. Exercise has been proven to be an effective approach to treat low back pain. However, the mechanism of the exercise effect on the inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress is still largely unknown. In this study, we revealed that exercise intervention reduces Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) pathway and enhances Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) expression in low back pain patients. We also confirmed that exercise up-regulates the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, PPAR-γ coactivator-1 and FoxOs family proteins and also increases the activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase in patients with low back pain. Furthermore, we found that exercise intervention attenuates the oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations and p53 expression in patients with low back pain. This study demonstrates that exercise intervention improves low back pain symptoms through regulation of the SIRT1 axis with repression of oxidative stress and TLR-4 inhibition.
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