The purpose of our study was to examine the effects of a single exercise bout on the natural killer (NK) cell count and activity in physically active elderly people, sedentary elderly people, and sedentary young people. Eight elderly women who trained by walking (age, 64 ± 1 years; V̇O 2peak, 32.2 ± 1.1 ml·kg-1·min -1), 8 age-matched untrained women (63 ± 1 years, 28.8 ± 1.0 ml·kg-1·min-1), and 8 young untrained women (25 ± 1 years, 37.6 ± 1.6 ml·kg -1-min-1) were studied. Blood samples were taken before, immediately after, and 2 hours after a 30-minute bout of exercise at an intensity equivalent to 70-75% of V̇O2peak. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and the NK cell count and activity were analyzed. The NK cell count of the elderly sedentary group immediately after exercise was significantly higher than those of the elderly women who walked and young sedentary women, whereas no significant interaction was detected in NK cell activity and NK cell activity per cell number among the 3 groups. Consequently, an intrinsic defect in the cytotoxic ability of NK cells appeared in sedentary elderly people but not in active elderly people who perform habitual exercise.
- Acute exercise
- Natural immunity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine