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Cytokine. 2007 Nov;40(2):75-81. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Serum from exercising humans suppresses t-cell cytokine production.

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  • 1Pediatric Exercise Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Bldg 25, 2nd Floor, University Children's Hospital, University of California Irvine, 101 The City Drive, Orange, CA 92868, USA.


Exercise affects t-cell cytokine production. Whether or not these effects are caused by circulating factors associated with physical activity (e.g., inflammatory mediators, acidosis) is unknown. To investigate this, we incubated sera (10%), obtained from 16 young-adults before (PRE) and after (END) 30-min of exercise, with commercially available Jurkat cells, a t-lymphocyte model, that, of course, had never been exposed to an exercise milieu. After 1 and 6h in culture, we measured in the supernatant four cytokines (each known to be altered by exercise and involved in disease pathophysiology): IL-2, TGF-beta1, TNF-alpha, and IL-1ra. Cell proliferation was assessed with proliferating nuclear cell antigen (PNCA). Statistical analysis consisted of a linear mixed model for repeated measurement. There was no effect of exercise on t-cell production of either TGF-beta1 or IL-1ra. In contrast, both IL-2 (p=0.025) and TNF-alpha (p=0.031) production was significantly suppressed in sera from the exercising participants. The suppression of these two cytokines occurred despite the fact that PNCA significantly increased (p=0.0004) in the END serum. In conclusion, exercise alters circulating factors that can, subsequently, influence t-cell cytokine production in vitro.

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