The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of overload training on the function of peritoneal macrophages in rats, and to test the hypothesis that glutamine in vivo supplementation would partly reverse the eventual functional alterations induced by overload training in these cells. Forty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 5 groups: control group (C), overload training group (E1), overload training and restore one week group (E2), glutamine-supplementation group (EG1), and glutamine-supplementation and restore 1-week group (EG2). All rats, except those placed on sedentary control were subjected to 11 weeks of overload training protocol. Blood hemoglobin, serum testosterone, and corticosterone of rats were measured. Moreover, the functions (chemotaxis, phagocytosis, cytokines synthesis, reactive oxygen species generation) of peritoneal macrophages were determined. Data showed that blood hemoglobin, serum testosterone, corticosterone and body weight in the overload training group decreased significantly as compared with the control group. Meanwhile, the chemotaxis capacity (decreased by 31%, p = .003), the phagocytosis capacity (decreased by 27%, p = .005), the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation (decreased by 35%, p = .003) and the cytokines response capability of macrophages were inhibited by overload training. However, the hindering of phagocytosis and the cytokines response capability of macrophages induced by overload training could be ameliorated and reversed respectively, by dietary glutamine supplementation. These results suggest that overload training impairs the function of peritoneal macrophages, which is essential for the microbicidal actions of macrophages. This may represent a novel mechanism of immunodepression induced by overload training. Nonetheless, dietary glutamine supplementation could partly reverse the impaired macrophage function resulting from overload training.
Xiao, Chen, Wang, and Luo are with the Dept. of Sports Science, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China. Dong is with the of Physical Education, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.