Springer Nature

Salutary effects of moderate but not high intensity aerobic exercise training on the frequency of peripheral T-cells associated with immunosenescence in older women at high risk of breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial

Posted on 2022-03-24 - 04:37
Abstract Background Immunosenescence is described as age-associated changes within the immune system that are responsible for decreased immunity and increased cancer risk. Physically active individuals have fewer ‘senescent’ and more naïve T-cells compared to their sedentary counterparts, but it is not known if exercise training can rejuvenate ‘older looking’ T-cell profiles. We determined the effects of 12-weeks supervised exercise training on the frequency of T-cell subtypes in peripheral blood and their relationships with circulating levels of the muscle-derived cytokines (i.e. ‘myokines’) IL-6, IL-7, IL-15 and osteonectin in older women at high risk of breast cancer. The intervention involved 3 sessions/week of either high intensity interval exercise (HIIT) or moderate intensity continuous exercise (MICT) and were compared to an untrained control (UC) group. Results HIIT decreased total granulocytes, CD4+ T-cells, CD4+ naïve T-cells, CD4+ recent thymic emigrants (RTE) and the CD4:CD8 ratio after training, whereas MICT increased total lymphocytes and CD8 effector memory (EM) T-cells. The change in total T-cells, CD4+ naïve T-cells, CD4+ central memory (CM) T-cells and CD4+ RTE was elevated after MICT compared to HIIT. Changes in V ̇ O 2 max $$ \dot{\mathrm{V}}{\mathrm{O}}_{2\max } $$ after training, regardless of exercise prescription, was inversely related to the change in highly differentiated CD8+ EMRA T-cells and positively related to changes in β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) expression on CM CD4+ and CM CD8+ T-cells. Plasma myokine levels did not change significantly among the groups after training, but individual changes in IL-7 were positively related to changes in the number of β2-AR expressing CD4 naïve T cells in both exercise groups but not controls. Further, CD4 T-cells and CD4 naive T-cells were negatively related to changes in IL-6 and osteonectin after HIIT but not MICT, whereas CD8 EMRA T-cells were inversely related to changes in IL-15 after MICT but not HIIT. Conclusions Aerobic exercise training alters the frequency of peripheral T-cells associated with immunosenescence in middle aged/older women at high risk of breast cancer, with HIIT (pro-senescent) and MICT (anti-senescent) evoking divergent effects. Identifying the underlying mechanisms and establishing whether exercise-induced changes in peripheral T-cell numbers can alter the risk of developing breast cancer warrants investigation.


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