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Acta Physiol Scand. 2002 Mar;174(3):247-56.

Immunomodulatory action of chronic exercise on macrophage and lymphocyte cytokine production in mice.

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Department of Health and Physical Education, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu, Japan.


This study was designed to evaluate the effects of 8-week voluntary running exercise on cytokine production of macrophages and lymphocytes. Seven-week-old-male BALB/c inbred mice were divided into two groups: a group given voluntary exercise (exercise group, n=32), and the other, a non-exercise group (control group, n=32). Exercise consisted of spontaneous running in wheels for 3 days per week over 8 weeks. The levels of nitric oxide (NO2-) and interleukin (IL)-1 beta production by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated peritoneal macrophages from the exercise group was significantly higher than that in the control group (P < 0.05-P < 0.01). In the exercise group, stimulation indices by concanavalin A (Con A) was significantly higher than they were in the control group (P < 0.05-P < 0.001). When compared with the control group, the exercise group showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the splenic lymphocyte production of IL-2 stimulated by Con A (449.5 +/- 28.2 and 853.7 +/- 116.0 pg 4 x 10(5) cells(-1) 48 h(-1) for the control group and the exercise group, respectively). IL-4 production of splenocytes stimulated by Con A in the exercise group (37.6 +/- 5.1 pg 4 x 10(5) cells(-1) 48 h(-1)) was higher than that in the control group (30.9 +/- 3.9 pg 4 x 10(5) cells(-1) 48 h(-1)); however, the difference was not statistically significant. These results suggest that 8-week voluntary running exercise effectively enhanced macrophage and lymphocyte functions in mice.

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