Immune changes in 75 younger (age 37.4 ± 0.9 years) and 23 older (57.0 ± 1.4 years) runners were compared after a competitive marathon, with blood samples collected pre- and immediately and 1.5 hr postrace. Race times were slower for the older group (4.7 ± 0.2 vs. 4.3 ± 0.1 hr, p = .015), but both groups performed at similar intensity (83.4 ± 0.9 vs. 82.9 ± 0.5% HRmax). The pattern of change in plasma cortisol, epinephrine, growth hormone, and blood leukocyte subsets did not differ significantly between the groups postrace. Blood lymphocyte counts were 20–24% lower in the older runners at each time point because of reduced T-cell counts. Postrace, plasma levels of IL-1ra, -10, -6, and -8 rose strongly in all runners, and salivary IgA secretion rate decreased, but no group differences in the pattern of change were noted. In conclusion, younger and older runners experienced similar hormonal and immune changes after running a marathon.
Edward E. Pistilli, David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, David E. Kaminsky, Alan C. Utter, Debra M. Vinci, J. Mark Davis, Omar R. Fagoaga and Sandra L. Nehlsen-Cannarella
Dru A. Henson, David C. Nieman, E. Edward Pistilli, Brian Schilling, AnnaRita Colacino, Allan C. Utter, Omar R. Fagoaga, Debra M. Vinci and Sandra L. Nehlsen-Cannarella
The influence of 6% carbohydrate ingestion and age on PHA-induced lymphocyte proliferation and in vitro cytokine production was studied in 48 runners following a competitive marathon. Runners were randomly assigned to carbohydrate (C; n = 23) and placebo (P; n = 25) groups, with blood samples taken before, immediately after, and 1.5 hr post-race. C versus P ingestion resulted in higher plasma glucose, lower plasma corlisol, reduced neutrophilia, and mono-cytosis during recovery, but had no effect on the post-exercise reduction in T-lymphocytes or NK cells, or on race times. No group differences were observed for PHA-induced lymphocyte proliferation or cytokine production. However, for all subjects combined, lymphocyte proliferation and IFN-γ secretion decreased significantly below pre-race values by 1.5 hr of recovery, and these were negatively correlated with plasma cortisol. Young (<50 years; n = 36) and old (≥50 years; n = 12) runners exhibited parallel post-race declines in lymphocyte proliferation and IFN-γ secretion, with the older group exhibiting a 33–59% lower proliferation at each time point. In conclusion, PHA-induced lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production decreased significantly following a marathon, and this decrease was strongly linked to cortisol and only partially linked to T-cell changes. This decrease occurred in both younger and older runners and was not influenced by carbohydrate.