Comparability of capillary and venous blood samples in assessing concentration of leucocyte subpopulations and neutrophilic function in exercise immunology

Elisa Canetti, James Keane (Editor), Bon Gray (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Mounting evidence demonstrates that a transient but significant immunemodulation follows exercise (Nieman, 1997), necessitating periodical monitoring of both immunecell concentration and function in active populations (Hoang, 2013). However, venous bloodsampling may be inconvenient, impractical and too invasive for the acquisition of multiple samples.To date, micro-sampling methods have been introduced in the sporting field as an important toolfor monitoring immediate endocrine and metabolic, but not cellular immune, responses to exercise(Godfrey, 2004). Whilst it might be assumed that venous and capillary samples would yield identicalresults, immune function is highly related to cellular surface marker expression and increasedinteractions between cell and endothilium within capillaries may influence functional analysis. Thusvalidation is required. This study hypothesised that capillary samples may be used in a site-specificmanner as an alternative source of blood samples for assays of leucocyte concentration andneutrophilic phagocytic and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production.METHODS: Healthy young (n=10, age: 25.1±3.1 years) subjects participated in the study. Restingblood samples were simultaneously obtained from vein, finger and earlobe. Leucocyteconcentration was measured using a five-part differential haematological analyser. Leucocyte subpopulations (CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19 CD56, CD14) and granulocytic functional-related (CD11b, CD18,CD16b, CD66b) surface antigen markers, neutrophil phagocytosis (FITC-labeled E.coli) andstimulated ROS production (DHR) were quantified utilizing flow cytometry. A MANOVA (α<0.05significance level), analysed the effects of the different sampling sites in the main leucocytepopulations and their surface antigen expression, and granulocytic functions.RESULTS: Leucocyte concentration and ROS production by neutrophils did not yield significantdifferences between sampling sites. However, expression of granulocytic surface antigens showedincreased expression in both finger and earlobe sites when compared to venous site (p=0.008),particularly for adhesion markers CD11b/CD18. The percentage of neutrophils performingphagocytosis yielded significant differences between vein and finger samples (p=0.025). The numberof E.coli ingested demonstrated a significant difference between venous and both capillary sites(vein-finger (p=0.001); vein-earlobe (p=0.006)).CONCLUSION: Previously overlooked, sampling site is now an important variable when assessingleucocyte phenotypes and functions. However, while the results support the utility of capillary bloodsampling in the assessment of leucocyte concentration and phenotypical profile, care must be takenin comparing such results to those obtained from different sampling sites. Whilst further studies areneeded to establish appropriate reference ranges, this study supports the use of capillary bloodsamples to enhance sampling capabilities particularly for field-based research in exerciseimmunology.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2015
EventThe 12th International Society of Exercise Immunology Symposium: Cells Meet Function in Exercise Immunology - Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 6 Jul 20159 Jul 2015
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceThe 12th International Society of Exercise Immunology Symposium
Abbreviated titleISEI
OtherThe ISEI biannual symposium brings together international experts in all fields of exercise immunology to present and discuss state-of-the-art research and emerging conceptual advances. The overall theme for the 2015 Symposium will be: Cells Meet Function in Exercise Immunology. Our aim is to include leading researchers from basic cell biology to applied clinical applications in the field of exercise immunology. Additionally, new technologies and/or their applications will be presented.

Similar to other ISEI Symposia we aim to attract many early stage researchers but also well-known experts to ensure a valuable information exchange. Possibly, this will lead to the discovery of high potentials within the oral and poster award for young investigators, but certainly to the development of future projects, collaborations, and friendships.
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