Serum from exercising humans suppresses t-cell cytokine production

Cytokine. 2007 Nov;40(2):75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2007.08.008. Epub 2007 Oct 4.


Exercise affects t-cell cytokine production. Whether or not these effects are caused by circulating factors associated with physical activity (e.g., inflammatory mediators, acidosis) is unknown. To investigate this, we incubated sera (10%), obtained from 16 young-adults before (PRE) and after (END) 30-min of exercise, with commercially available Jurkat cells, a t-lymphocyte model, that, of course, had never been exposed to an exercise milieu. After 1 and 6h in culture, we measured in the supernatant four cytokines (each known to be altered by exercise and involved in disease pathophysiology): IL-2, TGF-beta1, TNF-alpha, and IL-1ra. Cell proliferation was assessed with proliferating nuclear cell antigen (PNCA). Statistical analysis consisted of a linear mixed model for repeated measurement. There was no effect of exercise on t-cell production of either TGF-beta1 or IL-1ra. In contrast, both IL-2 (p=0.025) and TNF-alpha (p=0.031) production was significantly suppressed in sera from the exercising participants. The suppression of these two cytokines occurred despite the fact that PNCA significantly increased (p=0.0004) in the END serum. In conclusion, exercise alters circulating factors that can, subsequently, influence t-cell cytokine production in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Male
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / immunology
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism
  • Serum / immunology*
  • Serum / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Cytokines
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen