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Brief high intensity exercise induces peripheral leukocytosis possibly leading to a higher incidence of allergic symptoms in athletes undergoing excessive training. We studied the exercise-induced alternation of circulating Tregs and FoxP3+ Tregs due to acute intense swim exercise in elite swimmers (n = 22, 12 males, age = 15.4 yrs). Twelve had prior or current rhinitis or asthma and 10 had no current or prior allergy or asthma. Circulating Tregs increased significantly (p < .001) following exercise (pre = 133 ± 11.2, post = 196 ± 17.6) as did FoxP3+ cells (pre = 44, post = 64 cells/μl). Increases in Tregs and FoxP3+ Tregs occurred to the same extent in both groups of adolescent swimmers.
Wilson, Schwindt, Zaldivar, and Cooper are with the Pediatric Exercise Research Center, Dept. of Pediatrics, University Children’s Hospital, University of California, Irvine, CA 92868. Wang-Rodriguez is with VA San Diego Healthcare Systems, University of California, San Diego, CA 92161.