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Effect of Competitive Training on Antiviral Immune Activity in Collegiate Gymnasts

2639 Board #303 May 31 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Alley, Jessica; Green, Hilary; Smeins, Laurel; Jefferson, Matt; Litchfield, Ruth; Kohut, Marian

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2019 - Volume 51 - Issue 6 - p 737
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000562699.31238.b8
E-44 Free Communication/Poster - Immunology III Friday, May 31, 2019, 7: 30 AM - 12: 30 PM Room: CC-Hall WA2

Iowa State University, Ames, IA. (Sponsor: Warren Franke, FACSM)

(No relationships reported)

Regular moderate exercise has numerous health benefits, including positive effects on immune function, although periods of intense training may increase susceptibility to respiratory tract pathogens such as influenza virus.

PURPOSE: To determine the effect of intense athletic training on the antiviral immune response profile and to examine the effect of ingestion of eggs on this response.

METHODS: Female participants from a Division I varsity gymnastics team were recruited and either consumed whole eggs daily (E; n = 7) or maintained their normal diets (NE; n = 6) for the duration of the study. Blood was collected at three time points: before the high intensity pre-season training began (T1), one month into pre-season (T2), and two months after T2 at the end of pre-season (T3). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from whole blood, cultured ex vivo, and challenged with influenza A/PR/8/34 for 24 hours. Cell supernatants were analyzed using a multiplex cytokine array assay.

RESULTS: Statistical analyses revealed lower levels of cytokines involved in both innate (IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα) and T cell-mediated immunity (IFNγ, IL-2, IL-7) produced in response to virus stimulation at T2 (6.8, 87.3, 351, 731, 82.0, and 3.2 pg/mL, respectively) compared to T1 (12.1, 317, 534, 2469, 311, and 5.5 pg/mL, respectively) and T3 (17.4, 268, 712, 3018, 212, and 5.1 pg/mL, respectively; p < 0.05, paired t-tests). PBMCs from gymnasts who became ill during the study period (n = 3) produced less IFNα (427 vs. 1442 pg/mL) at T2 and more sCD40L (11.6 vs. 5.8 pg/mL) at T3 than those who remained healthy (p < 0.05, independent t-tests). When egg consumption was examined, a mixed ANOVA with repeated measures revealed a significant treatment by time interaction and follow-up post hoc tests identified differences in inflammatory cytokine production at T3 (12.3 vs. 23.3 and 496 vs. 963 pg/mL for IL-1β and IL-6, respectively, in E vs. NE; p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: These preliminary data suggest that, during intense training, both innate and adaptive antiviral defenses are impaired but that egg consumption may attenuate training-associated inflammation. Increases in immunosuppressive proteins, such as sCD40L, may also increase susceptibility to illness in athletes.

Funding was provided by the Iowa Egg Council and Egg Nutrition Center.

© 2019 American College of Sports Medicine