Increase in Free and Total Plasma TGF-β1 Following Physical Activity.

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To evaluate effects of physical activity and food consumption on plasma concentrations of free and total transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1), beta-2 (TGF-β2), and beta-3 (TGF-β3) in individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA).


Participants (n = 40 in 2 cohorts of 20; mean age 70 years) with radiographic knee OA were admitted overnight for serial blood sampling. Cohorts 1 and 2 assessed the impacts of food intake and activity, respectively, on TGF-β concentrations. Cohort 1 blood draws included 2 hours postprandial the evening of day 1 (T3), fasting before rising on day 2 (T0), nonfasting 1 hour after rising (T1B), and 4 hours after rising (T2). Cohort 2 blood draws included T3, T0, fasting 1 hour after rising and performing activities of daily living (T1A), and nonfasting 2 hours after rising (T1B). By sandwich ELISAs, we quantified plasma free and total TGF-β1 concentrations in all samples, and plasma total TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 in cohort 2.


Free TGF-β1 represented a small fraction of the total systemic concentration (mean 0.026%). In cohort 2, free and total TGF-β1 and total TGF-β2 concentration significantly increased in fasting samples collected after an hour (T1A) of activities of daily living (free TGF-β1: P = 0.006; total TGF-β1: P < 0.001; total TGF-β2: P = 0.001). Total TGF-β3 increased nonsignificantly following activity (P = 0.590) and decreased (P = 0.035) after food consumption while resting (T1B).


Increased plasma concentrations of TGF-β with physical activity suggests activity should be standardized prior to TGF-β1 analyses.





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Han, Ashley J, Louie C Alexander, Janet L Huebner, Alexander B Reed and Virginia B Kraus (2021). Increase in Free and Total Plasma TGF-β1 Following Physical Activity. Cartilage, 13(1_suppl). pp. 1741S–1748S. 10.1177/1947603520916523 Retrieved from

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Alexander Reed

Biostatistician II

Alex collaborates with investigators in the Department of Psychiatry Autism Center for Excellence (ACE) group as well as the Duke Transplant Center and worked previously in osteoarthritis biomarker research.  He has experience working on grant proposals, writing statistical analysis plans, programming analyses, and drafting research papers.  He received his MS in statistics from UC San Diego. 

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