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Title: Reduced thymic output in elite athletes
Authors: Prieto-Hinojosa, Adria
Knight, Andrea
Compton, Claude
Gleeson, Michael
Travers, Paul J.
Keywords: Exercise immunology
Thymus
Naïve T cell
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: PRIETO-HINOJOSA, A. ... et al., 2014. Reduced thymic output in elite athletes. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 39, pp.75-79.
Abstract: Athletes undergoing intensive training schedules have chronic exposure to stress-induced hormones such as cortisol that can depress immune function. We compared the circulating levels of T cell receptor excision circles (TREC), a marker of recent thymic emigrants, as well as the levels of naïve and memory subsets in a group of elite endurance athletes and in controls. The athletes showed a reduction in absolute numbers of naïve T cells, particularly in CD4 T cells. In contrast, memory cells were increased. TREC levels in the athletes were significantly reduced compared to age-matched controls. Such changes resemble premature ageing of the T cell component of the immune system. Since thymic production of T cells naturally decline with age, these results raise the concern that prolonging high intensity exercise into the 4th decade of life may have deleterious consequences for athletes' health. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Description: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2014.01.004
Sponsor: We acknowledge the support of both the EU FP6 project ‘‘Allostem’’, and the University of Edinburgh in funding this work.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2014.01.004
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/15713
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2014.01.004
ISSN: 0889-1591
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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