Cellular and Humoral Immunological Parameters.

Cell Mol Immunol, 2015; 12(4): 483-92, PMID: 25382740 external link

Effects of 60-day bed rest with and without exercise on cellular and humoral immunological parameters.

Hoff P, Belavy DL, Huscher D, Lang A, Hahne M, Kuhlmey AK, Maschmeyer P, Armbrecht G, Fitzner R, Perschel FH, Gaber T, Burmester GR, Straub RH, Felsenberg D, Buttgereit F
1] Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Berlin, Germany [2] Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum (DRFZ), Berlin, Germany [3] Berlin-Brandenburg Center of Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), Berlin, Germany.


Purpose: Exercise at regular intervals is assumed to have a positive effect on immune functions. Conversely, after spaceflight and under simulated weightlessness (e.g., bed rest), immune functions can be suppressed. We aimed to assess the effects of simulated weightlessness (Second Berlin BedRest Study; BBR2-2) on immunological parameters and to investigate the effect of exercise (resistive exercise with and without vibration) on these changes.

Method: Twenty-four physically and mentally healthy male volunteers (20-45 years) performed resistive vibration exercise (n=7), resistance exercise without vibration (n=8) or no exercise (n=9) within 60 days of bed rest. Blood samples were taken 2 days before bed rest, on days 19 and 60 of bed rest. Composition of immune cells was analyzed by flow cytometry. Cytokines and neuroendocrine parameters were analyzed by Luminex technology and ELISA/RIA in plasma.

General changes over time were identified by paired t-test, and exercise-dependent effects by pairwise repeated measurements (analysis of variance (ANOVA)). With all subjects pooled, the number of granulocytes, natural killer T cells, hematopoietic stem cells and CD45RA and CD25 co-expressing T cells increased and the number of monocytes decreased significantly during the study; the concentration of eotaxin decreased significantly. Different impacts of exercise were seen for lymphocytes, B cells, especially the IgD(+) subpopulation of B cells and the concentrations of IP-10, RANTES and DHEA-S.

Results: We conclude that prolonged bed rest significantly impacts immune cell populations and cytokine concentrations. Exercise was able to specifically influence different immunological parameters.

Conclusion: In summary, our data fit the hypothesis of immunoprotection by exercise and may point toward even superior effects by resistive vibration exercise.