Preliminary evidence of reductive stress in human cytotoxic T-cells following exercise

Alex James Wadley, Adrian Holliday, Rhys G Morgan, Kate J Heesom, Sarah Aldred, Derek M Peters, Allain A Bueno, Steven J Coles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated immunophenotypic differences in intracellular thiol redox state of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from trained (TR, n=9, mean {plus minus} SD: age 28 {plus minus} 5 years; BMI 23.2 {plus minus} 2.6 kg·m2; VO2max 56.9 {plus minus} 6.1 ml·kg-1·min-1) and recreationally active (RA, n=11, mean {plus minus} SD: age 27 {plus minus} 6 years; BMI 24.2 {plus minus} 3.7 kg·m2; VO2max 45.1 {plus minus} 6.4 ml·kg-1·min-1) participants before and after a maximal aerobic exercise tolerance test. Blood samples were taken before (PRE), during (sample acquired at 70% HRmax), immediately (POST+0) and 15 minutes post-exercise (POST+15). PBMCs were isolated and reduced thiol analysis (fluorescein-5 maleimide (F5M)) by immunophenotype (CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+) was performed using flow cytometry. A significant increase in cellular F5M fluorescence was observed in CD3+ T-cells at POST+0, with changes driven to a greater extent by CD8+ T-cells (fold change in both groups CD4: +2.3, CD8: +2.8; p<0.05). Further analysis revealed a population of highly reduced CD8+ T-cells (CD8+T-reduced+) that significantly increased from PRE to POST+0 in RA participants only (RA: +272 cell/µL, p<0.05). To further understand these results, CD8+T-reduced+ and CD8+T-reduced- cells were analysed for immunophenotype in response to the same exercise protocol (n=6, mean {plus minus} SD: age 24 {plus minus} 5 years; BMI 25.7 {plus minus} 4.1 kg·m-2; VO2max 41.33 {plus minus} 7.63 ml·kg-1·min-1). CD8+T-reduced+ had significantly less lymphoid homing potential (CCR7) POST+0 compared to PRE. This study is the first to demonstrate that lymphocyte populations become more reductive in response to acute exercise.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Early online date12 Apr 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2018


  • Journal Article


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