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Mech Ageing Dev. 2001 Aug;122(11):1135-50.

Moderate exercise is associated with enhanced antigen-specific cytokine, but not IgM antibody production in aged mice.

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Department of Health and Human Performance, 235 Forker Building, Iowa State University, 235 Forker Building Ames, IA 50011, USA.


It has been suggested that moderate exercise may modulate the immune response in the elderly. We investigated whether moderate exercise had an effect on the immune response to viral infection in both young (2-4 months) and older (16-18 months) male BALB/cJ mice. Exercised (EX) mice ran on a treadmill for 8 weeks at a gradually increasing speed and duration whereas control (CON) mice were only handled briefly during each exercise session and then returned to their cages. Mice were infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) 24 h post-exercise. Serum IgM anti-HSV antibody, HSV-1 specific Th1/Th2 cytokine production by spleen cells, and cytokine production by alveolar cells were measured 7 days post-infection. In the aged mice, exercise was associated with an enhanced production of the HSV-1 specific Th1-associated cytokines, interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-gamma, but had no effect on the Th2-associated cytokine IL-10 or IgM antibody. No effect of exercise was observed in young mice. IL-12 production was not altered by exercise, but aging was associated with altered IL-12 production in a tissue-specific manner. In conclusion, moderate exercise was associated with increased antigen-specific IL-2 and IFN-gamma production in response to viral challenge in older mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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