Ultra Marathon Race Competition and Immune Function

  • David C. NiemanEmail author
Part of the Heat Shock Proteins book series (HESP, volume 5)


This chapter reviews key exercise immunology findings from five years of research on 350 athletes in the 160-km Western States Endurance Run (WSER), a point-to-point trail run in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern California. Until this series of studies on WSER ultra-marathoners, little was known regarding the response of the immune system to severe exertion. This chapter describes how the immune system responds to running 160 km and underlying mechanisms including oxidative stress, muscle damage, inflammation, endotoxemia, and ibuprofen use


Cytokines running immune function ibuprofen oxidative stress inflammation neutrophils 



alanine aminotransferase


asparate aminotransferase


body mass index


blood urea nitrogen


creatine kinase


C-reactive protein


delayed onset of muscle soreness


granulocyte colony-stimulating factor


immunoglobulin A






monocyte chemoattractant protein 1


macrophage migration inhibitory factor


macrophage inflammatory protein 1 beta


natural killer


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


ratings of perceived exertion


tumor necrosis factor-alpha


upper respiratory tract infections


Western States Endurance Run


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Appalachian State UniversityBooneUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health and Exercise ScienceAppalachian State UniversityBooneUSA

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