Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. James Navalta (Director), Dr. T. Scott Lyons, Dr. Mark Schafer

Degree Program

Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport

Degree Type

Master of Science


Research has shown that maximal exercise has a significant effect on cells of the immune system. Specifically, lymphocyte count increases during exercise and decreases to a value lower than baseline following an acute exhaustive bout of exercise. The overall lymphocyte response is well characterized, however, the ability of exercise to affect lymphocyte subfractions is unknown to our knowledge. The purpose of this study was to assess and evaluate the affects of a simulated tennis match across two sessions on lymphocyte subsets.

Initial measurements such as age, height, weight, skinfold analysis, and heart rate were recorded for each player, as well as blood samples being obtained by a finger prick before and after the tennis sessions. The tennis protocol started with five serves to the deuce court and five serves to the ad court, then individuals hit twenty-four forehands and twenty-four backhands against an oscillating ball machine. Each bout of serves and ground strokes were repeated ten times, with one minute rests in between each session. Before and immediately after completing the tennis trial, subjects were pricked with a lancet on the non dominant hand so to obtain at least two capillary tubes of blood. Whole blood was then added to the antibody cocktail, which is mixed according to the antibodies that were tested, which were CD4, CD8, CD19, CD95, and CX3CR1. Whole blood was added to red blood cell lysis buffer and fixation buffer, and the blood solution was incubated with antibodies specific to cell phenotype. The main results of this study indicated that there was a decrease in mainly post cell counts in pre and post CD19/CD95 measurements (P= .007), an increase in CD8/CX3CR1 in pre counts and an increase then decrease in post counts without wearing the bionic glove (P= .042), and a decrease in CD4 in the post count measurement with the bionic tennis glove (P= .043). The study’s can assist in making recommendations for after match treatment such as health and diet suggestions. Knowledge of prevention and treatment methods are low in the field of tennis and immune functions, so findings in this area could prevent elite athletes from contracting infections between matches.


Kinesiology | Motor Control | Other Immunology and Infectious Disease | Sports Sciences