Beta-adrenergic receptors in lymphocyte subsets after exercise. Alterations in normal individuals and patients with congestive heart failure.
Dynamic exercise increases the number of beta-adrenergic receptors in mixed lymphocytes by a mechanism that is incompletely understood. In a set of in vivo studies, we have investigated the effects of dynamic exercise on the subset distribution of circulating lymphocytes and on the number of beta-adrenergic receptors in each of these subsets in two groups of patients. In healthy subjects, exercise increased plasma norepinephrine and epinephrine and caused lymphocytosis. Whereas the number of Thelper cells increased only modestly, the number of Tsuppressor/cytotoxic and natural killer cells more than tripled. The number of beta-adrenergic receptors varied among subsets but was not significantly altered by dynamic exercise in any subset except natural killer cells (35% increase, p = 0.0302). In a group of patients with congestive heart failure, dynamic exercise increased plasma norepinephrine but did not alter plasma epinephrine and did not cause significant lymphocytosis. We did not detect any significant alterations of circulating leukocyte subsets or beta-adrenergic receptors in any of these subsets after exercise. A combined analysis of healthy patients and heart failure patients revealed a significant correlation between increases in plasma epinephrine and increases in circulating lymphocytes. We conclude that the exercise-induced increase in beta-adrenergic receptors of mixed lymphocytes is predominantly caused by a redistribution of circulating cell subsets that differ in their beta-adrenergic receptor number. This appears to be mediated by epinephrine rather than norepinephrine.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association