The Effects of Acute Exercise on Neutrophils and Plasma Oxidative Stress

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Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the influence of intensity versus total energy expenditure on neutrophilia and blood oxidative stress to acute exercise.

Methods

Nine males (18–30 yr) completed one maximal (Max) and three submaximal exercise sessions: 1) 45 min at 10% above (LT+) lactate threshold (LT), 2) 45 min at 10% below (LT−) LT, and 3) 10% below LT until caloric expenditure equaled the 10%+ trial (LT-kcal). Blood was sampled before (PRE), immediately (POST), 1 h, and 2 h after exercise to measure neutrophils, myeloperoxidase, superoxide (O2−), neutrophil activation (O2−/neutrophils), ascorbic acid, uric acid, malondialdehyde, and lipid hydroperoxides.

Results

Intensity-dependent neutrophilia occurred POST exercise with significant increases (P ≤ 0.05) after Max and LT+. A second neutrophilia wave occurred 2 h postexercise. Superoxide was elevated POST (Max) and 2 h post (Max and LT+). In contrast, O2−/neutrophils was increased at 2 h only (Max and LT+). These data indicate that immediately postexercise, total neutrophil number rather than activation best represents neutrophil-generated reactive species within blood. POST Max, ascorbic acid and uric acid were decreased indicating a blood oxidative stress occurred. Alternately, total energy expenditure was not related to any marker of neutrophilia or oxidative stress.

Conclusion

Exercise intensity plays a major role in postexercise blood oxidative stress, whereas total exercise energy expenditure does not. Further, neutrophils recruited into circulation during exercise may impose a threshold dependent oxidative stress in blood plasma after exercise.

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