Int J Sports Med 1993; 14(2): 86-92
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1021151

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Effect of Chronic and Acute Exercise on Immunity in Rats

Y. S. Lin, M. S. Jan, H. I. Chen
  • Department of Microbiology and Department of Physiology, National Cheng Kung University Medical College, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China
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14. März 2008 (online)


The effects of exercise training and acute exercise on the immune system were investigated in rats. For chronic exercise training, the rats ran on a drum exerciser at the intensity of about 60-70% of maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2max) for 30 min and then extended up to 60 min per day, 5 days per week for 10 weeks. The rats were at rest for 3 days before sacrifice. The mitogenic activity of spleen lymphocytes to concanavalin A (Con A) and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) decreased as compared to the sedentary control, while proliferative response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increased. The interleukin-2 (IL-2) production in the training group was reduced. The immunomodulatory effect after acute exercise has also been investigated and it showed profound enhancement of cell proliferation to Con A, SEB and LPS in mild (50% V̇O2max for 10 min) and moderate (70% V̇O2max for 10 min) exercise groups. The enhancing activity was less prominent after severe exercise (> 75% V̇O2max until exhaustion). The IL2 production increased in all of these acute exercise groups. Nevertheless, there was no significant variation between exercise and control groups in the cell number per spleen and the percentages of various lymphocyte populations, i.e., total T, CD4+, CD8+ and IL-2R+ T cells as well as B cells. In summary, this study indicates that chronic exercise training may cause the reduction of T cell activity while acute exercise manifests an enhancing effect. However, B cell proliferation was elevated in both chronic and acute exercise groups.