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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Jul;47(7):1390-8. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000562.

Exercise Intensity and Duration Effects on In Vivo Immunity.

Author information

1
1College of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, UNITED KINGDOM; 2Infection, Inflammation and Immunity Division, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, UNITED KINGDOM.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine the effects of intensity and duration of exercise stress on induction of in vivo immunity in humans using experimental contact hypersensitivity (CHS) with the novel antigen diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP).

METHODS:

Sixty-four healthy males completed either 30 min running at 60% V˙O2peak (30MI), 30 min running at 80% V˙O2peak (30HI), 120 min running at 60% V˙O2peak (120MI), or seated rest (CON). Twenty min later, the subjects received a sensitizing dose of DPCP; and 4 wk later, the strength of immune reactivity was quantified by measuring the cutaneous responses to a low dose-series challenge with DPCP on the upper inner arm. Circulating epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol were measured before, after, and 1 h after exercise or CON. Next, to understand better whether the decrease in CHS response on 120MI was due to local inflammatory or T-cell-mediated processes, in a crossover design, 11 healthy males performed 120MI and CON, and cutaneous responses to a dose series of the irritant, croton oil (CO), were assessed on the upper inner arm.

RESULTS:

Immune induction by DPCP was impaired by 120MI (skinfold thickness -67% vs CON; P < 0.05). However, immune induction was unaffected by 30MI and 30HI despite elevated circulating catecholamines (30HI vs pre: P < 0.01) and greater circulating cortisol post 30HI (vs CON; P < 0.01). There was no effect of 120MI on skin irritant responses to CO.

CONCLUSIONS:

Prolonged moderate-intensity exercise, but not short-lasting high- or short-lasting moderate-intensity exercise, decreases the induction of in vivo immunity. No effect of prolonged moderate-intensity exercise on the skin's response to irritant challenge points toward a suppression of cell-mediated immunity in the observed decrease in CHS. Diphenylcyclopropenone provides an attractive tool to assess the effect of exercise on in vivo immunity.

PMID:
25380472
DOI:
10.1249/MSS.0000000000000562
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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