International Journal of Exercise Science 15(3): 1085-1104, 2022. Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) may experience cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and organ function dysregulation. Sequelae include reduced catecholamine secretion and attenuated immune responses which may impact exercise-induced leukocytosis. The purpose of this study was to characterize major leukocyte subtypes following 30 minutes of acute, submaximal aerobic exercise, in line with updated international SCI exercise guidelines for adults. It was hypothesized that exercise would increase major leukocyte subtypes when compared to fasted baseline. Eight participants with SCI (incomplete n = 6; complete n = 2) completed a 30-minute bout of aerobic exercise on an arm cycle ergometer at 60% of their peak power output followed by 90 minutes of recovery, or a 2-hour seated control condition, in a randomized crossover design, separated by 7-14 days. Blood samples were taken at baseline, post exercise, and 90 minutes after exercise (with time matched control). Leukocyte subtypes were analyzed via flow cytometry and plasma catecholamines by ELISA. Several leukocytes increased from pre- to post-exercise (time X condition interaction; all P < 0.05; mean ± SD), including CD3+ Lymphocytes (19 ± 16%), CD4+ T helper (16 ± 13%), CD8+ T cytotoxic (24 ± 23%), CD3+/CD56+ natural killer T (31 ± 34%), and CD3-/CD56+ natural killer (63 ± 82%). CD16+/CD14dim monocytes decreased by 27 ± 38% following exercise to 90 minutes post-exercise. No changes were observed for catecholamines for either condition. Thirty minutes of acute submaximal aerobic exercise sufficiently increased most lymphocyte subsets with effector functions, while leading to decreased proinflammatory monocytes during the recovery phase. This exercise duration and intensity appear to be an appropriate option for modulating circulating immune cells in individuals with SCI.
Jackson, Garett S.; Todd, Kendra R.; van der Scheer, Jan W.; Walsh, Jeremy J.; Dix, Gabriel U.; Martin Ginis, Kathleen A.; and Little, Jonathan P.
"Impact of an Acute Bout of Submaximal Aerobic Exercise on Circulating Leukocytes in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 15
3, Pages 1085 - 1104.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol15/iss3/14