The effects of strength training session with different types of muscle action on white blood cells counting and Th1/Th2 response

  • Lucas Soares Marcucci-Barbosa
  • Francisco de Assis Dias Martins-Junior
  • Lázaro Fernandes Lobo
  • Mariana Gomes de Morais
  • Felipe José Aidar
  • Erica Leandro Marciano Vieira
  • Albená Nunes-SilvaEmail author
Original Article



This research investigated the effects of a strength training session with two different types of muscle actions, predominantly concentric or eccentric in the physiological variables, including the counting of white blood cells and inflammatory mediators; and consequently, changes in the Th1/Th2 balance.


Twelve healthy adult men performed a strength training session, using two different protocols: predominantly concentric with 5 s of the concentric phase by 1 s of the eccentric phase, and a predominantly eccentric with 1 s of the concentric phase by 5 s of the eccentric phase. Blood samples were collected, before, immediately after and 2 h after the end of the session to analyze subpopulations of white blood cells, creatine kinase (CK), irisin and the levels of anti- and pro-inflammatory mediators.


Both strength training protocols were able to increase the heart rate, lactate concentration, rate of perceived exertion and the levels of circulating creatine kinase. The predominantly concentric strength training exercises increased the number of total white blood cells, and neutrophils 2 h after the end of the session. The plasmatic levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon-γ (INF-γ), irisin, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 (sTNFR1) and sTNFR2 did not change after the strength training protocols.


Therefore, the present study demonstrates that a strength training session is able to disturb the body homeostasis.


Physical exercise Immune system Strength training Cytokines Concentric and eccentric training Leukocytes 



The authors would like to thank the Pilot Laboratory and Clinical Analysis (LAPAC/UFOP) and Inflammation Immunobiology Laboratory (LABIIN/UFOP). They would also like to especially thank Érica Leandro Marciano Vieira and the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Medical Investigation (LIIM/UFMG) for all the support in the cytokine analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

The Ethical Committee of the Federal University of Ouro Preto, MG approved this study (Res. 196/96—CAAE 56307716.2.0000.5150).

Informed consent

All individuals received written information and gave written consent about the risks and benefits of the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucas Soares Marcucci-Barbosa
    • 1
  • Francisco de Assis Dias Martins-Junior
    • 1
  • Lázaro Fernandes Lobo
    • 1
  • Mariana Gomes de Morais
    • 1
  • Felipe José Aidar
    • 3
  • Erica Leandro Marciano Vieira
    • 2
  • Albená Nunes-Silva
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório de Inflamação e Imunologia do Exercício (LABIIEX)Centro Desportivo da Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (CEDUFOP)Ouro PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório Interdisciplinar de Investigação Médica (LIIM), Faculdade de MedicinaBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Grupo de Estudo e Pesquisa em Performance, Esporte Paradesporte e Saúde, Departamento de Educação FísicaUFSAracajuBrazil

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