Mucosal immunity and upper respiratory tract symptoms in recreational endurance runners

Johanna K Ihalainen, Moritz Schumann, Keijo Häkkinen, Antti A Mero

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


The present study investigated the effects of a 12-week endurance-training intervention on salivary proteins and upper respiratory tract symptoms (URS) in 25 young men. Saliva samples of 25 recreational male endurance runners (age 34.6 years, body mass index = 23.8 kg·m(-2), peak aerobic capacity = 47.2 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) were collected before (PRE) and after (POST) the training intervention, in a fasting state, as well as both before and after a maximal incremental treadmill run. The training consisted of both continuous and interval training sessions, 4-6 times per week based on the polarized training approach. Participants filled in Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 and were retrospectively divided into 2 groups according to whether they reported URS (URS group, n = 13) or not (HEALTHY group, n = 12). Basal salivary immunoglobulin A (sa-sIgA) levels were significantly higher (+70%, p < 0.05) in the HEALTHY group both at PRE and POST whereas no significant differences were observed in salivary immunoglobulin M, salivary immunoglobulin G, lysozyme, or salivary α-amylase activity (sAA). Sa-sIgA concentration at PRE significantly correlated with the number of sick-days (R = -0.755, p < 0.001) in all subjects. The incremental treadmill run acutely increased sAA significantly (p < 0.05) at PRE (200%) and POST (166%) in the HEALTHY group but not in the URS group. This study demonstrated that subjects, who experienced URS during the 12 weeks of progressive endurance training intervention, had significantly lower basal sa-sIgA levels both before and after the experimental endurance training period. In addition to sa-sIgA, acute sAA response to exercise might be a possible determinant of susceptibility to URS in endurance runners.

ZeitschriftApplied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquée, nutrition et métabolisme
Seiten (von - bis)96-102
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.2016


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