T helper cell cytokine profiles after endurance exercise

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Kakanis, M., Peake, J., Brenu, E., Simmonds, M., Gray, B., & Marshall-Gradisnik, S. (2014). T helper cell cytokine profiles after endurance exercise. Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, 34(9), 699-706.

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© Copyright, Mary Ann Liebert Inc. Publishers, 2014

2014 HERDC Submission




Endurance exercise can cause immunosuppression and increase the risk of upper respiratory illness. The present study examined changes in the secretion of T helper (Th) cell cytokines after endurance exercise. Ten highly trained road cyclists [mean±SEM: age 24.2±1.7 years; height 1.82±0.02 m; body mass 73.8±2.0 kg; peak oxygen uptake 65.9±2.3 mL/(kg•min)] performed 2 h of cycling exercise at 90% of the second ventilatory threshold. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and stimulated with phytohemagglutinin. Plasma cortisol concentrations and the concentration of Th1/Th2/Th17 cell cytokines were examined. Data were analyzed using both traditional statistics and magnitude-based inferences. Results revealed a significant decrease in plasma cortisol at 4–24 h postexercise compared with pre-exercise values. Qualitative analysis revealed postexercise changes in concentrations of plasma cortisol, IL-2, TNF, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-17A compared with pre-exercise values. A Th1/Th2 shift was evident immediately postexercise. Furthermore, for multiple cytokines, including IL-2 and TNF (Th1), IL-6 and IL-10 (Th2), and IL-17 (Th17), no meaningful change in concentration occurred until more than 4 h postexercise, highlighting the duration of exercise-induced changes in immune function. These results demonstrate the importance of considering “clinically” significant versus statistically significant changes in immune cell function after exercise.

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