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The Effect of Repeated Intensive Pulls of Tug-of-War on Immunoendorine Responses

By Tzai-Li Li, Chun-Li Lin, Ching-Ju Hung and Kuo-Tung Tseng


The aims of this study were to determine the effect of repeated intensive pulls of tug-of-war on the same day on leukocyte mobilization, neutrophil functions, stress hormones, Th1/Th2 cytokine balance, and salivary responses. Eight elite tug-of-war pullers (age 16.5 ± 0.3 years, height 173.6 ± 1.4 cm, body mass 69.2 ± 2.3 kg, VO2max 46.4 ± 0.7 mL· kg-1·min-1) were voluntarily recruited from a senior high school. After passing a health questionnaire screen, subjects signed an informed consent. Visit 1 required the subject to come for measurement of physiological variables. Four days later, subjects participated in either exercise trial (EX) or control trial (REST) by a counterbalanced order. EX required the subject to pull 6 sets consisting of 2 pulls with 5 min and 1.5 min rest in between, respectively. The pulling weight was 1.5 folds of body mass. Blood sampled at pre-exercise and immediate post-exercise, whereas saliva sampled at pre-exercise, post-set 2, post-set 4, and immediate post-exercise. REST required the subject to have a resting day in the gymnasium and offering blood and saliva samples at the same timepoints as EX. Water ingestion was allowed ad libitum during trial except for 5 min before saliva sampling. The main findings of this study were: (1) Pulling endurance was significantly decreased in the second pull compared with the first pull at Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3; furthermore, the pulling endurance was also significantly declined after Set 2 in both pulls compared with Set 1. (2) Repeated intensive pulls (RIP) significantly activated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis with higher concentrations of both plasma and salivary cortisol and lower saliva flow rate in exercise trial compared with the values in rest trial. (3) RIP significantly increased plasma lactate concentrations. (4) RIP did not appear to affect hematocrit, hemoglobin, plasma glucose, leukocyte mobilization, neutrophil functions, plasma Th1/Th2 cytokine balance, and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgA1 concentration and their secretion rates. In conclusion, the findings of the present study suggest that the repeated intensive pulls of tug-of-war may induce activations of HPA-axis and sympathetic nervous system. However the extents of activations appear not strong enough to extensively disturb homeostasis of immunoendocrine. Furthermore, the heart rate may not be an appropriate indicator for assessing exercise intensity in relatively static exercise of tug-of-war

Topics: Tug-of-war, Stress hormones, Neutrophil function, Th1/Th2 cytokines, IgA
Publisher: Taichung, Taiwan :Graduate Institute of Sports & Health Management, National Chung Hsing University
Year: 2014
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