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ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 14
Clinical research

Winter ambient training conditions are associated with increased bronchial hyperreactivity and with shifts in serum innate immunity proteins in young competitive speed skaters

Marcin Kurowski, Janusz Jurczyk, Sylwia Moskwa, Marzanna Jarzębska, Hubert Krysztofiak, Marek L. Kowalski

Arch Med Sci 2018; 14, 1: 60–68
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Introduction: Regular training modulates airway inflammation and modifies susceptibility to respiratory infections. The impact of exercise and ambient conditions on airway hyperreactivity and innate immunity has not been well studied. We aimed to assess exercise-related symptoms, lung function, airway hyperresponsiveness and innate immunity proteins in relation to meteorological conditions and exercise load in competitive athletes.

Material and methods: Thirty-six speed skaters were assessed during winter (WTP) and summer (STP) periods. The control group comprised 22 non-exercising subjects. An allergy questionnaire for athletes (AQUA) and IPAQ (International Physical Activity Questionnaire) were used to assess symptoms and exercise. Meteorological parameters were acquired from World Meteorological Organization resources. Serum innate immunity proteins were measured by ELISA.

Results: Exercise-associated respiratory symptoms were reported by 79.4% of skaters. Despite similar exercise load and lung parameters during both periods, positive methacholine challenge was more frequent during winter (p = 0.04). Heat shock protein HSPA1 and IL-1RA were significantly decreased during STP compared to WTP and controls. During WTP, IL-1RA was elevated in skaters reporting exercise-induced symptoms (p = 0.007). sCD14 was elevated in athletes versus controls in both periods (p < 0.05). HSPA1 was significantly higher in WTP compared to STP irrespective of presence of respiratory tract infections (RTIs). IL-1RA in WTP was elevated versus STP (p = 0.004) only in RTI-negative athletes. Serum IL-1RA negatively correlated with most meteorological parameters during WTP.

Conclusions: Ambient training conditions, but not training load, influence bronchial hyperreactivity and the innate immune response in competitive athletes assessed during winter. The protective effect of regular exercise against respiratory infections is associated with a shift in serum innate immunity proteins.

interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein, meteorological factors, exercise training, bronchial hyperreactivity, heat shock protein HSPA1, sCD14

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