Immune modulation following aerobic exercise in children with cystic fibrosis

S. R. Boas*, M. J. Danduran, S. A. McColley, K. Beaman, M. R.G. O'Gorman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Previous studies have demonstrated altered immune response following exercise in healthy adults and children. As data are lacking in children with cystic fibrosis, we evaluated the immune response following acute exercise and hypothesized that acute increases in cellular changes would be seen but would be blunted in subjects with CF. Leukocytes, lymphocytes, and their subsets as well as natural killer cell number and activity were determined before, immediately after, and one hour post exhaustive exercise in 15 children with cystic fibrosis (8-21 yrs, FEV1 69.5±18.0%, colonized with P. aeruginosa) and 15 healthy controls (8-18 yrs, FEV1 107.5±10.7%). At baseline the cystic fibrosis group had greater leukocytes (9.25±2.83 vs. 5.17±0.96x109 cells/liter). Immediately post exercise, the cystic fibrosis group demonstrated increases in cell counts for leukocytes (32.4%), lymphocytes (61.8%), granulocytes (36.4%), monocytes (76.2%), and natural killer cells (315%). Similar percentage increases were seen in cell counts for the controls (leukocytes: 39.5%, lymphocytes: 78.5%, granulocytes: 32.0%, monocytes: 75.9%, and NK cells: 442%). Natural killer cell activity also increased by 57.9% in the group with cystic fibrosis and by 43.6% in the healthy controls. Except for elevated leukocyte and granulocyte counts, values returned to baseline at one hour post-exercise. In conclusion, the cellular immune response to acute exercise in children with mild to moderate cystic fibrosis appears normal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-301
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 5 2000


  • Cellular response
  • Children
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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