Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Behav Immun. 2008 Mar;22(3):324-38. Epub 2007 Oct 1.

Exercise-induced redistribution of T lymphocytes is regulated by adrenergic mechanisms.

Author information

Institute of Sports Medicine, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany.


Acute exercise is known for causing considerable changes in leukocyte counts and function. In this paper we report that differentiated changes in T-lymphocyte distribution occur in lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs depending on the type and the intensity of exercise. Using fluorescent cell tracking we observed a release of T-cells from the spleen while lung, bone marrow and Peyer's patches served as target organs. The number of T-cells in the blood rose after intensive running while lymphopenia occurred after swimming exercise. Changes in number of labelled T-cells were neither found in the lymph nodes nor in the thymus regardless of exercise protocol. Following an alpha- or beta-blockade, the exercise-induced release of T-cells from the spleen and the accumulation of T-cells in the lung were inhibited while the enhancement of T-cells in the Peyer's patches was not affected. The administration of epinephrine partially mimicked the effects of exercise and resulted in a release of T-cells from both, the spleen and the liver, as well as in an increase of circulating blood T-cells. In conclusion, exercise induces a substantial re-distribution of T-cells within lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs. The migrating properties of T-cells could be partially explained by adrenergic mechanisms associated with exercise while the involvement of certain homing receptors remains to be shown. Our results suggest that the accumulation of T-cells in both, lung and Peyer's patches, may enhance the immune vigilance in these compartments which serve as the body's major defence barriers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center