Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Behav Immun. 2012 Jan;26(1):177-86. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2011.09.004. Epub 2011 Sep 10.

NK-cells have an impaired response to acute exercise and a lower expression of the inhibitory receptors KLRG1 and CD158a in humans with latent cytomegalovirus infection.

Author information

Laboratory of Integrated Physiology, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, 3855 Holman Street, Houston, TX 77204, USA.


NK-cells and γδ T-cells are cytotoxic effectors of the immune system that are preferentially mobilized into the blood compartment in response to acute stress and exercise. While infection history is known to alter the phenotype and exercise-responsiveness of CD8+ T-cells, the influence of latent cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections on the phenotypes and exercise-responsiveness of NK-cells and γδ T-cells are unknown. Twenty healthy males (age: 28.4±5.4 years) cycled for 30 min at 85% peak power. Blood lymphocytes isolated before, immediately after, and 1 h after exercise were surface stained for CD3, CD4, CD8, CD56, CD57, CD158a, KLRG1, and γδ-TCR antigens by four-color flow cytometry. CMV and EBV serostatus (pos/neg) was determined by ELISA. CMVpos had lower proportions of NK-cells expressing inhibitory receptors (KLRG1+ and CD158a+) and higher proportions of terminally differentiated NK-cells (KLRG1-/CD57+) compared to CMVneg. CMVpos mobilized far fewer (132 cells/μL vs. 245 cells/μL) NK-cells in response to exercise despite having similar baseline NK-cell counts and physiological responses to exercise as CMVneg, although terminally differentiated NK-cells were equally responsive to exercise regardless of CMV serostatus (p=0.658). EBVpos had higher proportions of CD8+ NK-cells, but cellular responses to exercise were not influenced by EBV. The frequency and exercise-responsiveness of γδ T-cells was not affected by CMV or EBV serostatus (p>0.05). In conclusion, latent CMV infection is associated with lowered numbers of NK-cells expressing inhibitory receptors and a blunted mobilization of NK-cells in response to acute exercise. This may indicate a compromised immune response to "fight-or-flight" situations in those infected with CMV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center