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Higher levels of physical activity are associated with reduced tethering and migration of pro-inflammatory monocytes in males with central obesity

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posted on 2021-06-04, 09:21 authored by Alex Wadley, Matthew RobertsMatthew Roberts, Jade Creighton, Alice ThackrayAlice Thackray, David StenselDavid Stensel, Nicolette BishopNicolette Bishop
Despite evidence that monocyte migration is accentuated by central adiposity, the impact of physical activity (PA) and exercise, particularly in the post-prandial state, on limiting migration are not established. We hypothesised that PA and a single bout of walking exercise would be associated with reduced ex vivo monocyte tethering and migration in middleaged males with central obesity (CO). Objective levels of PA were measured for 7 days in lean males (LE, N=12, mean (SD) age 39 (10) years, waist circumference 81.0 (6.3) cm) and males with CO (N=12, mean (SD) age 40 (9) years, waist circumference 115.3 (13.9) cm), followed by donation of a fasted blood sample. On the same day, CO undertook a bout of walking exercise, before donation of a second fasted blood sample. An ex vivo assay, coupled to flow cytometry, determined tethering and migration of classical, intermediate, and non-classical monocytes. C-C and CXC chemokine receptor (CCR2, CCR5 and CX3CR1) expression were also determined on total and classical monocytes. Monocyte subsets (total, classical, intermediate and CCR2+ monocytes), metabolic (glucose and lipids) and inflammatory (C-reactive protein) markers were greater in CO vs. LE (lower highdensity lipoprotein); however, adjustments for PA mitigated group differences for glucose, lipids, and monocyte subsets. Ex vivo tethering and migration (absolute and relative) of most monocyte subsets was greater in CO vs LE. Relative monocyte tethering and migration was largely not influenced by PA; however, higher PA was associated with reduced absolute migration and tethering of CD16 expressing monocytes in CO. Prior walking had no impact on these variables. These results highlight that regular PA, not single exercise bouts may limit the migration of pro-inflammatory monocytes in CO. These changes may relate to physiological parameters in blood (i.e. number of cells and their adhesion), rather than differences in chemokine receptor expression.


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Exercise Immunology Review




54 - 66


International Society of Exercise and Immunology (ISEI)


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© International Society of Exercise and Immunology

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Exercise Immunology Review and the definitive published version is available at https://exerciseimmunology.com/eir-archives.

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Prof Lettie Bishop. Deposit date: 2 June 2021

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