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Gerontology. 1989;35(2-3):66-71.

Physical exercise increases natural cellular-mediated tumor cytotoxicity in elderly women.

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Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.


The influence of acute treadmill exercise on natural killer (NK) cell tumor cytotoxicity in vitro was studied in elderly women after participation in a program of physical exercise training (PET) (n = 7) or after participation in a paralleling nonexercise control (NEC) condition (n = 7). The two study groups were equated (p greater than 0.05) according to age, percent total body fat, functional status as measured by multi-inventory ranking, and exercise capacity. After the experimental period, the PET subjects had a greater basal level of NK activity than the NEC subjects (PET 38.2 percent specific lysis, %SL, vs. NEC 28.8 %SL; p less than 0.05). Both groups experienced an increase in NK activity after acute treadmill exercise (PET 38.2-57.4 %SL, p less than 0.01; NEC 28.8-37.8 %SL, p less than 0.05), but the increase in the PET subjects was significantly (p less than 0.05) greater than that observed in the NEC subjects. We conclude that natural cellular-mediated tumor cytotoxicity is increased in response to acute exercise and long-term PET in elderly women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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