Open Access
Does exercise really induce lymphocyte apoptosis?
James Wilfred Navalta1,Brian Keith McFarlin1,Thomas Scott Lyons1
Department of Kinesiology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101-1089, USA.
DOI: 10.2741/E106 Volume 2 Issue 2, pp.478-488
Published: 01 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise effects on immunity: cellular and molecular responses)

While the stress associated with acute exercise has been reported to induce significant lymphocyte apoptosis, not all investigations have confirmed this finding. Regardless of animal or human subjects, exercise-induced lymphocyte apoptosis may be induced via an external receptor-mediated pathway, or internally via the mitochondria through an oxidative-mediated pathway. On the other hand, investigators reporting no effect of acute exercise on lymphocyte apoptosis speculate that cell death may be dissociated from these pathways, and explain exercise lymphocytopenia by selective migration of the lymphocytes back into the lymphoid pools. Discrepancies may be due to sensitivity issues related to the methodology used to assess cell death. Limitations to various methods used to evaluate exercise-induced lymphocyte apoptosis are detailed, and considerations for a new technique are outlined.

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James Wilfred Navalta, Brian Keith McFarlin, Thomas Scott Lyons. Does exercise really induce lymphocyte apoptosis?. Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite. 2010. 2(2); 478-488.