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Brief Bout of Exercise Alters Gene Expression in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Early- and Late-Pubertal Males


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are stimulated by exercise and contribute not only to host defense, but also to growth, repair, and disease pathogenesis. Whether PBMC gene expression is altered by exercise in children is not known. Ten early pubertal boys (8-12 y) and 10 late pubertal boys (15-18 y) performed ten 2-min bouts of strenuous, constant work rate exercise with 1-min rest intervals. PBMCs were isolated before and after exercise and microarray (Affymetrix U133 + 2 chips) analyzed. Statistical criterion to identify gene expression changes was less than 5% false discovery rate (FDR) with 95% confidence interval. One thousand two hundred forty-six genes were altered in older boys (517 up, 729 down), but only 109 were altered in the younger group (79 up, 30 down). In older boys, 13 gene pathways (using Expression Analysis Systematic Explorer, p < 0.05) were found (e.g. natural killer cell cytotoxicity, apoptosis). Epiregulin gene expression (EREG, a growth factor involved in wound healing) increased in older boys. In older boys exercise altered genes such as TBX21, GZMA, PGTDR, and CCL5 also play roles in pediatric inflammatory diseases like asthma. Sixty-six genes were changed significantly in both groups. The pattern of PBMC gene expression suggests the initiation of an immunologic "danger" signal associated with a sudden change in energy expenditure.

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