Studies on the immediate and delayed leucocytosis elicited by brief (30-min) strenuous exercise
Eight healthy male volunteers exercised for two 30-min sessions starting 3 h apart on an electronically braked cycle ergometer at a work load (mean 155.9 W, SD 33.4 W) which required an oxygen consumption that was 70% of their maximal rate of oxygen uptake. Venous blood samples were taken through an indwelling cannula over a period of 6 h beginning shortly before the first bout of exercise and were analysed for routine haematological parameters and for lactate, noradrenaline, adrenaline and cortisol. Both bouts of exercise induced an immediate leucocytosis due to rises in lymphocytes and neutrophils but only the first exercise bout induced a substantial delayed neutrophilia. In at least five subjects, changes in lymphocyte and platelet numbers were correlated (Spearman's rank procedure,P<0.05) with simultaneous changes in the plasma concentrations of lactate, noradrenaline and adrenaline over the 6-h period studied. Increases in the plasma concentration of cortisol due to exercise correlated positively with the percentage changes in neutrophil numbers at 3 h and 6 h. These results are consistent with the suggestion that the immediate and delayed leucocytosis induced by exercise are mediated respectively by catecholamine and by cortisol.
Key wordsLeucocytes Lymphopenia Granulocytosis Catecholamines Cortisol
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