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Brain, behavior, and immunity

Exercise-induced stress inhibits both the induction and elicitation phases of in vivo T-cell-mediated immune responses in humans.


PMID 21362469

Abstract

Little is known about the influence of exercise on induction and elicitation phases of in vivo immunity in humans. We used experimental contact-hypersensitivity, a clinically relevant in vivo measure of T cell-mediated immunity, to investigate the effects of exercise on induction and elicitation phases of immune responses to a novel antigen. The effects of 2 h-moderate-intensity-exercise upon the induction (Study One) and elicitation of in vivo immune memory (Study Two) to diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) were examined. Study One: matched, healthy males were randomly-assigned to exercise (N=16) or control (N=16) and received a primary DPCP exposure (sensitization), 20 min after either 2 h running at 60% V O(2peak) (EX) or 2 h seated rest (CON). Four weeks later, participants received a low, dose-series DPCP challenge (elicitation) on their upper inner arm, which was read at 24 and 48 h as clinical score, oedema (skinfold thickness) and redness (erythema). Study Two: pilot; 13 healthy males were sensitized to DPCP. Elicitation challenges were repeated every 4 weeks until responses reached a reproducible plateau. Then, N=9 from the pilot study completed both EX and CON trials in a randomized order. Elicitation challenges were applied and evaluated as in Study One. Results demonstrate that exercise-induced stress significantly impairs both the induction (oedema -53% at 48 h; P<0.001) and elicitation (oedema -19% at 48 h; P<0.05) phases of the in vivo T-cell-mediated immune response. These findings demonstrate that prolonged moderate-intensity exercise impairs the induction and elicitation phases of in vivo T-cell-mediated immunity. Moreover, the induction component of new immune responses appears more sensitive to systemic-stress-induced modulation than the elicitation component.