Increased phagocytic capacity of the blood, but decreased phagocytic activity per individual circulating neutrophil after an ultradistance run
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The effect of a long strenuous endurance exercise on the phagocytic function of neutrophils was examined. 9 athletes [7 males, 2 females, age: 36–68 years, body mass: 64 (SD 10) kg, height: 175 (SD 10) cm] completed a competetive 100 km run in 8:07 (median value; range: 7:29–9:50 hours). In a whole blood assay the phagocytosis of opsonized E. coli, the receptor density of the Fcγ receptor 3 (CD16) and the complement receptor 3 (CD11b, direct immunofluorescence) of neutrophils were measured on a per cell basis by flow cytometry before and up to 3 hours after the race. The phagocytic rate (percentage of neutrophils incorporating bacteria) was unchanged after exercise, whereas the phagocytic activity (number of incorporated bacteria per cell) was significantly reduced by −34 (SD 8) % (Wilcoxon test, P<0.001). The total phagocytic capacity of the blood increased 2-3fold post exercise. The surface antigen expressions of CD11b and CD16 were unaffected by the ultradistance run. The results indicate either a reduced phagocytic function of neutrophils on a single cell basis or the mobilization of neutrophils of the marginal pool with a lower phagocytic activity. However, after a long endurance exercise the phagocytotic capacity of the blood was enhanced due to increased cell concentrations.
Key wordsNeutrophils phagocytosis exercise CD16 CD11b phagocytes
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