One year of resistance exercise improves neutrophil activity in older individuals
LE3 .A278 2004
Bachelor of Science
Muscle wasting or sarcopenia has been linked to a loss of independence in the elderly and has been associated with age-related changes in immune function. Neutrophils are important leukocytes of the innate immune system and play a vital role in the immune response. Resistance training is important to maintain muscle mass and strength. We examined the effects of a year long home-based strength training program on neutrophil oxidative burst activity and associated cytokine and hormone concentrations in 32 retired individuals. Approximately 30 min long resistance exercise sessions were prescribed three times a week. Neutrophils were isolated using Ficoll-PaqueÂ® centrifugation and the oxidative burst activity was measured spectrophotometrically. Circulating levels of hormones and cytokines were measured using ultrasensitive ELISA kits. After a year of training, muscle strength and neutrophil oxidative burst activity increased significantly for the whole group as well as the ten individuals diagnosed with arthritis. The increase was accompanied by increased plasma concentration of Growth Hormone and decreased circulating concentrations of Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor and Interleukin-6. Differences in some cytokine concentrations were noted for the participants with arthritis although these were not found to be statistically significant. While vigorous exercise or inactivity suppresses various immune response parameters, our results suggest that participation in a moderate intensity resistance training program not only increases strength but also promotes neutrophil activity and has a positive impact on the innate immune response of older adults.
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