Prolonged physical exercise is associated with several immunological changes, e.g. increase in proinflammatory cytokines, changes in the white blood count etc. Great discrepancies exist with regard to the exercise- induced influence on serum immunoglobulin and neopterin values. One explanation could be the shifts in plasma volume (PV) during and after exercise which might influence plasma concentrations of these parameters. Therefore we investigated the consequences of a marathon race in a homogenous group of experienced runners on plasma volume shifts, serum Immunglobulin and neopterin concentrations. Plasma values with and without correction for plasma volume shifts were compared. PV was significantly diminished after the race (-8.4%) followed by a rise 34h after finish (+8.5%). Serum immunoglobulin IgG, IgA and IgM were increased within the first hours postmarathon and normalized in the recovery period. When chages in PV were considered, only IgA rose significantly. Serum neopterin remained unchanged after the marathon independently whether corrected for PV changes or not. We conclude that the increase in immunoglobulins in our study was mainly the consequence of plasma volume changes. Since neopterin was unchanged we have at least in our study no evidence for exercise-induced activation of the cellular immune system.
© 2013 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co.
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