The immune system response to prolonged bouts of heavy-intensity exercise

  • Michael Kakanis

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Endurance exercise can cause immunosuppression and increase the risk of upper respiratory illness (URIs). The exercise-induced stress response exhibits effects on circulating immune cell concentrations and their functional characteristics. The purpose of this thesis was to assess the effect of exercise-induced stress on the immune system. Specifically, cellular and cytokine components were of high importance. The form of exercise employed was prolonged, heavy-intensity cycling bouts, chosen to produce large changes in cellular redistribution (ingress and egress). The immediate, stress-induced changes, and the subsequent changes during the recovery period post-exercise were analysed, following single and repeated bouts of exercise. The results of the present thesis were hoped to be two-fold; 1) expand the knowledge base for a number of novel immune markers previous unexamined under severe, prolonged stress stimuli, and 2) provide further evidence of how repeated immune stimulation may be detrimental to healthy immune function when recovery between sessions is not sufficient.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBon Gray (Supervisor), Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik (Supervisor), Jonathan Peake (Supervisor) & Michael Simmonds (Supervisor)

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