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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 429248, 6 pages
Research Article

Exercise Training, Lymphocyte Subsets and Their Cytokines Production: Experience of an Italian Professional Football Team and Their Impact on Allergy

1Department of Medical Sciences “M. Aresu”, University of Cagliari, Asse Didattico “E1”, Cittadella Universitaria, Monserrato, 09042 Cagliari, Italy
2National Health Service, ASL 6, 09025 Sanluri, Italy
3Cagliari Calcio Football Club, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
4National Health Service, ASL 8 Public Health Services, “Businco” Hospital, 09121 Cagliari, Italy

Received 28 February 2014; Revised 26 May 2014; Accepted 28 May 2014; Published 23 June 2014

Academic Editor: Fulvio Braido

Copyright © 2014 Stefano R. Del Giacco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. In recent years, numerous articles have attempted to shed light on our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of exercise-induced immunologic changes and their impact on allergy and asthma. It is known that lymphocyte subclasses, cytokines, and chemokines show modifications after exercise, but outcomes can be affected by the type of exercise as well as by its intensity and duration. Interesting data have been presented in many recent studies on mouse models, but few studies on humans have been performed to check the long-term effects of exercise over a whole championship season. Methods. This study evaluated lymphocyte subsets and their intracellular IL-2, IL-4, TNF-α, and IFN-γ production in professional football (soccer) players, at three stages of the season, to evaluate if alterations occur, particularly in relation to their allergic status. Results and Conclusion. Despite significant mid-season alterations, no significant lymphocyte subclasses count modifications, except for NKs that were significantly higher, were observed at the end. IL-2 and IL-4 producing cells showed a significant decrease ( and , but in a steady fashion for IL-4), confirming the murine data about the potential beneficial effects of aerobic exercise for allergic asthma.