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Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry 1998;2(2):1-14.
Exercise Stress and Immune Responses
mmune functions are claimed to be affected by psychological stressors and physiological mechanism, which involves the close interaction between nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system. In particular, acute intensive exercise causes much larger changes in the concentration of circulating immune cells mid hormones than does psychological stress. Continuous exercises as physical stress are known to affect immune function through three specific pathways. In the first pathway, the secretion of ACTH is promoted by stimulating the HPA axis, and catecholamines secreted in adrenal medulla and glucocorticoirds secreted in adrenal cortex affect immune functions. In the second pathway, immune function are affected by increasing the level of ACTH, β-endorphin, growth hormone (GH), and prolactin through the interaction of nervous system and endocrine system. In the third pathway, immune functions are affected through direct influence of lymphoid organ or sympathetic nervous system Besides, immune functions may be affected by the immune parameters like cytoldnes and external environment. Previous researchers reported that continuous exercise with moderate intensity is an important factor in the change of immune response. Although recently a great number of researches have been carried out about the correlation of nervous system, endocrine system and immune system, their exact mechanism is yet to be worked out, requiring further researches in the future. It may not be an exaggeration to say that life in the modern world is life under stress. It is generally approved that one of the most efficient ways to resolve stress is exercise. However, since exercise itself can act as distress weakening immune functions, it is very important to carry out continuous researches to find out the influence of exercise on immune functions in the light of exercise immunology.
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