Acute intensive interval training and T-lymphocyte function

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992 Mar;24(3):339-45.


Immune suppression has been suggested to occur as a result of acute exercise although results of previous studies are variable, possibly due to the failure of some researchers to control exercise intensity and duration. Most of the studies so far have investigated immediate effects after bouts of exercise mainly in subjects undertaking lower body exercise (running or cycling), and the time course of recovery has rarely been determined. We chose two groups of athletes for our studies. One group represented subjects of a range of fitness levels from recreational runners to high-performance runners. The second group represented kayakists with a similar range of fitness levels. Following interval training designed to stress either the lower or upper body anaerobically, we have now shown that upper body exercise (kayaking) induces similar in vitro responses to those described for lower body exercise. There were no differences between the responses of low-fitness versus high-fitness subjects. In addition we have studied the in vitro responses of leukocytes following acute anaerobic exercise over a 24-h recovery period. The results showed that the reduced lymphocyte proliferative response, in vitro, to the T-cell mitogen CONA experienced immediately after exercise returned to normal levels within 2 h of recovery time. This suggests that the reduction in lymphocyte proliferative response is a short transient one.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-2 / physiology
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Fitness
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*


  • Interleukin-2
  • DNA