Nonselective beta blockade attenuates the recruitment of CD62L(-)T lymphocytes following exercise

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1999 May;79(6):531-4. doi: 10.1007/s004210050548.


Exercise induces a selective redistribution of CD62L(-) T lymphocytes. This study examined the effects of beta adrenergic receptor blockade on this phenomenon. Twelve healthy men were exercised to exhaustion on a treadmill prior to and following 1 week of treatment with the nonselective beta antagonist propranolol or the beta1 selective antagonist metoprolol. Dynamic exercise resulted in a significant lymphocytosis (p < 0.001). CD8(+)CD62L(-) T cells showed a greater than 3-fold increase in response to exercise (p < 0.001) as compared to CD8(+)CD62L(+) T cells, which showed a more modest increase. Treatment with the nonselective beta antagonist propranolol significantly attenuated the preferential increase of circulating CD8(+)CD62L(-) lymphocytes (p = 0.01) but had no effect on CD8(+)CD62L(+) T cells. Treatment with the beta1 selective antagonist metoprolol did not affect the response of either subset. Our findings replicate a prior study indicating that CD62L expression influences T lymphocyte trafficking in response to exercise and extends those findings by showing that this phenomenon is mediated, in part, via the beta2-adrenergic receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • L-Selectin / analysis*
  • Lymphocyte Count / drug effects
  • Male
  • Metoprolol / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Propranolol / pharmacology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • L-Selectin
  • Propranolol
  • Metoprolol