summary: One study provides insight into how exercise is related to the immune system.
The experiments, conducted in mice, showed that exercise-induced muscle inflammation triggers the action of anti-inflammatory T cells called Tregs. These Tregs help muscles use energy more efficiently and increase exercise endurance.
In addition to preventing inflammation, this study suggests that Tregs may play a central role in the numerous health benefits of exercise.
- Muscle inflammation caused by exercise activates Tregs, which are known to fight abnormal inflammation.
- Regular exercise increases the presence of Tregs in muscles, improving both muscle metabolism and overall performance.
- In the absence of Tregs, interferon causes uncontrolled inflammation, suggesting that Tregs play an important role in mediating the body’s response to exercise.
The link between exercise and inflammation has captivated the imagination of researchers ever since early 20th century studies showed a surge of white blood cells in the blood of Boston Marathon runners after a race.
Now, a new study from Harvard Medical School was published on November 3rd. scientific immunology It may provide a molecular explanation behind this 100-year-old observation.
The study, conducted in mice, suggests that the beneficial effects of exercise may be driven, at least in part, by the immune system. This study shows that exercise-induced muscle inflammation recruits inflammation-fighting T cells (Tregs), increases the muscle’s ability to use energy as fuel, and improves overall exercise endurance. I am.
Tregs have long been known for their role in combating abnormal inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases, but now they also play an important role in the body’s immune response during exercise, the researchers said.
“The immune system, particularly the T-cell division, has far-reaching effects on tissue health, beyond defending against pathogens and controlling cancer. Our research shows that during exercise, the immune system We demonstrated that it works,” said study principal investigator Diane Mathis, Morton Grove Rasmussen Professor of Immunology at the HMS Blavatnik Institute.
The researchers cautioned that mice are not humans and this finding needs to be replicated in further studies. However, this study is an important step toward elucidating in detail the cellular and molecular changes that occur during exercise and that confer health benefits.
Understanding the molecular basis of movement
Protects against cardiovascular disease, reduces risk of diabetes, and prevents dementia. The beneficial effects of exercise are well established. But how, exactly, does exercise make us healthy? This question has long intrigued researchers.
The new findings come amid increasing efforts to understand the molecular basis of movement. Unraveling the involvement of the immune system in this process is only one aspect of these research efforts.
“We’ve known for a long time that exercise causes inflammation, but the immune processes involved are not fully understood,” said study lead author Kent Langston, a postdoctoral fellow in Mattis’ lab. says. “Our study shows in very high resolution what T cells are doing at the site of movement within the muscle.”
Most previous research on exercise physiology has focused on the role of different hormones released during exercise and their effects on different organs such as the heart and lungs. New research elucidates the immunological cascade that unfolds inside the actual site of movement: muscles.
T-cell heroes and inflammatory villains
Exercise is known to cause temporary damage to muscles and trigger a series of inflammatory responses. It promotes the expression of genes that regulate the activity of mitochondria, the tiny power plants that fuel muscle structure, metabolism, and cell function. Mitochondria play an important role in adaptation to exercise by helping cells meet the large energy demands of exercise.
In the new study, the researchers analyzed what happened in cells taken from the hindlimb muscles of mice that ran once on a treadmill and those that ran regularly. The researchers then compared them to muscle cells from sedentary mice.
Muscle cells from mice that ran on a treadmill, whether once or periodically, showed typical signs of inflammation. This is an increase in the activity of genes that regulate various metabolic processes, as well as increased levels of chemicals such as interferon that promote inflammation.
Both groups had increased levels of Treg cells in their muscles. Further analysis showed that Tregs attenuated exercise-induced inflammation in both groups. These changes were not seen in muscle cells from sedentary mice.
However, the metabolic and performance benefits of exercise were only evident in mice that exercised regularly, meaning they ran repeatedly. In that group, experiments showed that Tregs not only suppressed exercise-induced inflammation and muscle damage, but also altered muscle metabolism and muscle performance.
This finding is consistent with the well-established observation in humans that one-time exercise alone does not lead to significant improvements in performance, and that regular activity over time is required to achieve benefits. Masu.
Further analysis confirmed that Tregs are indeed responsible for the wide range of benefits seen in people who exercise regularly. Animals lacking Tregs had uncontrolled muscle inflammation, characterized by rapid accumulation of proinflammatory cells in hindlimb muscles. Their muscle cells had severely swollen mitochondria, a sign of metabolic abnormalities.
More importantly, animals lacking Tregs were unable to adapt to increasing exercise demands over time like Treg-complete mice. They didn’t get the same systemic benefits from exercise and had reduced aerobic fitness.
The muscles of these animals also contained excess amounts of interferon, which is known to cause inflammation. Further analysis revealed that interferon acts directly on muscle fibers to alter mitochondrial function and limit energy production. Blocking interferon prevented metabolic abnormalities and improved aerobic exercise capacity in Treg-deficient mice.
“The villain here is interferon,” Langston said. “Without a guardian Treggs to counter it, the interferon continued to cause uncontrollable damage.”
Interferons are known to promote chronic inflammation, a process that underlies many chronic diseases and age-related symptoms, making them attractive targets for treatments aimed at reducing inflammation. Masu. Tregs have also attracted the attention of scientists and industry as a potential treatment for a variety of immunological conditions characterized by abnormal inflammation.
The findings provide a glimpse into the inner cellular workings behind the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise and highlight the importance of exercise in harnessing the body’s own immune defenses, researchers say. Stated.
Efforts are underway to design interventions targeting Tregs in the context of certain immune-mediated diseases. The researchers also said that immunological conditions caused by abnormal inflammation require carefully tailored treatments, and exercise is another way to combat inflammation.
“Our research suggests that there are natural ways to boost the body’s immune response and reduce inflammation through exercise,” Matisse said. “Although we only looked at muscles, exercise may also promote Treg activity in other parts of the body.”
Authors, funding, and disclosures
Collaborators included Yizhi Sun, Birgitta Ryback, Bruce Spiegelman, Amber Mueller, and Christophe Benoist.
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health grants R01 AR070334, F32 AG072874, and F32 AG069363. By JPB Foundation.
About this exercise and neuroscience research news
author: Ekaterina Pesheva
sauce: Harvard University
contact: Ekaterina Pesheva – Harvard University
image: Image credited to Neuroscience News
Original research: Closed access.
“Regulatory T cells protect muscle mitochondria from interferon -mediated damage and promote the beneficial effects of exercise.Written by Diane Mathis et al. scientific immunology
Regulatory T cells protect muscle mitochondria from interferon -mediated damage and promote the beneficial effects of exercise.
Exercise improves physical performance and reduces the risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
Exercise has the characteristic of causing an inflammatory response, especially in skeletal muscles. Although several effector mechanisms have been identified, the regulatory elements activated in response to exercise remain unclear.
Here, we have explained the role of Foxp3.+CD4+ Regulatory T cells (TRegistration) Studies in healthy exercise activity by immunological, transcriptomic, histological, metabolic and biochemical analyzes of acute and chronic exercise models in mice.
Exercise causes rapid expansion of muscle TRegistration This prevents excessive production of interferon-gamma and the resulting metabolic disorders, especially mitochondrial abnormalities. The performance-enhancing effect of exercise training was attenuated in the absence of T.Registration.
Therefore, exercise is natural exercise.Registration A booster with therapeutic potential in conditions of disease and aging.