Aging, persistent viral infections, and immunosenescence: can exercise "make space"?

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2011 Jan;39(1):23-33. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e318201f39d.


Overcrowding the immune space with excess clones of viral-specific T cells causes the naïve T-cell repertoire to shrink, which increases infection susceptibility to novel pathogens. Physical exercise preferentially mobilizes senescent T cells from the peripheral tissues into the blood, which might facilitate their subsequent apoptosis and create "vacant space" for newly functional T cells to occupy and expand the naïve T-cell repertoire.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / immunology*
  • Apoptosis
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Thymus Gland / immunology