Highly differentiated T cells are preferentially mobilized into the peripheral blood in response to exercise, which may explain some of the observed changes in immune function that occur with strenuous exercise. Although acute exercise has been shown to alter the type1/type2 cytokine balance, no study has attempted to document if this is due to increased frequency of highly differentiated T cells in the periphery. Eight trained male cyclists (Age: 31±6.1 yrs) cycled for 60-min at 95% maximal steady state. Blood samples collected before, immediately after, and 1h after exercise were prepared for cell culture and flow cytometry analysis. Proportions of highly differentiated (KLRG1+CD28-;CD45RA+CD27-) T cells increased immediately after exercise. This was accompanied by decreased intracellular expression of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ, and increased IL-10 in T cells following mitogen stimulation. Cytokine changes with exercise were similar in both CD27+ (low differentiated) and CD27- (highly differentiated) cells. Independently of exercise, CD27+ cells produced more IL-2 and IL-6 but less TNF-α and IFN-γ than CD27- cells. These data indicate that acute exercise alters the type1/type2 cytokine balance in response to mitogen stimulation, but independently of altered proportions of low and highly differentiated T-cells. Future work will attempt to establish mechanisms for this response and the role that type 1/type 2 cytokine shifts might play in athlete infection risk.
- Copyright © 2011 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.