Καθηγητής Μανουράς Ανδρέας,Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής Κωνσταντουλάκης Μανούσος,Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής Κρέσπης Ευστάθιος
Apoptosis of peripheral blood lymphocytes is associated with the immune
response of the organism to various situations that cause stress, such as
systemic infections and surgery.
The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in apoptosis of peripheral
blood lymphocytes after strenuous physical exercise and their correlation with
the levels of metabolic acidosis, as well as the performance of athletes.
In the present study, we enrolled 2 groups of male swimmers, aged 21,3 ± 1,37
years (mean ± SD) of 15 amateurs and 15 practitioners champions, who swam 8
distances of 50 meters at maximum intensity.
We studied the apoptosis of peripheral lymphocytes (by flow cytometry and
Annexin V – PI labelling), lactic acid levels and other parameters before and 3
minutes, 1 hour and 3 hours after exercise.
There was a significantly greater degree of metabolic acidosis in amateurs
against swimmers, with increased lactate concentration (1,64 ± 0,59 vs. 1,22 ±
0,36 mmol/L respectively, p = 0,027) and lower pH (7,36 ± 0,03 vs. 7,39 ± 0,02
, respectively, p = 0,004) at 3 hours. The percentage and absolute number of
total lymphocytes showed a significant decrease after exercise in both groups.
Amateur swimmers, however, showed a significantly greater increase in the
percentage of early apoptotic lymphocytes at all time points, compared to
athletes (10,02% vs. 7,24% respectively at 3 hours, p = 0,012). The greater the
concentration of lactic acid the greater was the percentage of early apoptotic
cells (r = 0,482, p = 0,008), while the rate of apoptosis did not appear to be
related to the average time of swimmers.
Intense exercise increases apoptosis of peripheral blood lymphocytes as a
response of the body to physical stress. The athletes who train systematically
seem to be able to better manage physical stress, as reflected by lower
apoptosis and metabolic acidosis against amateurs. The rate of apoptosis,
however, was not shown, in this study, to have any predictive value regarding
Apoptosis, Peripheral lymphocytes, Lactic acid, Sports performance, Sports medicine