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Voluntary chronic exercise augments in vivo natural immunity in rats.

Journal article
Authors Ingibjörg H Jonsdottir
Alexzander Asea
P Hoffmann
Ulf Dahlgren
B Andersson
Kristoffer Hellstrand
Peter Thorén
Published in Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
Volume 80
Issue 5
Pages 1799-803
ISSN 8750-7587
Publication year 1996
Published at Institute of Laboratory Medicine
Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Dept of Physiology
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Virology
Pages 1799-803
Language en
Keywords Animals, Immunoglobulin G, metabolism, Immunoglobulin M, metabolism, Lymphoma, metabolism, Motor Activity, physiology, Physical Conditioning, Animal, Rats, Rats, Inbred SHR, Spleen, metabolism
Subject categories Physiology


The effect of chronic voluntary exercise on the immune response was studied in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Exercise consisted of voluntary running in wheels for 5 wk, and the mean running distance was 4.2 km/24 h. In vivo cytotoxicity was measured as clearance of injected 51Cr-labeled YAC-1 lymphoma cells from the lungs. The clearance of YAC-1 cells in vivo was significantly increased in runners compared with sedentary controls (P < 0.001). The total number of mononuclear cells in the spleen was significantly decreased in runners compared with controls. Analysis of splenic lymphocyte phenotypes revealed a significantly increased fraction of OX52+/CD5- natural killer cells in runners compared with sedentary controls. In contrast to changes in natural immunity, immunoglobulins G and M levels in serum, the antibody response to antigen in vivo, and the proliferation of splenic T cells in vitro were unchanged. Our data suggest that chronic voluntary exercise augments natural cytotoxicity mechanisms in vivo, whereas splenic T-cell proliferation and the antibody-mediated immune response remain unchanged.

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