The orexigenic peptide hormone ghrelin exerts potent inhibitory effects on pro-inflammatory cytokine release via the growth hormone secretagogue receptor-1a (GHS-R1a) on T cells and monocytes. As such, ghrelin is a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of inflammatory conditions, but these effects depend on the availability of GHS-R1a. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of acute exercise on GHS-R1a expression on circulating CD14+ monocytes, total lymphocytes and CD3+ T cells. Nine male club-standard cyclists cycled for 1h at 75% V̇O2peak (EX) or rested (REST) in a randomised cross-over design. Compared with the equivalent times in REST, the concentration of circulating GHS-R1a+ lymphocytes and monocytes was higher in EX at immediately and 1 and 2h post-exercise (all p<.05). The concentration of CD3+GHS-R1a+ cells was higher in EX than in REST immediately post-exercise only (258 (203)cellsμl-1 vs. 62 (42)cellsμl-1, p<.05). Density of GHS-R1a receptor expression was unaffected by trial or time. Comparison of active participants at rest with 7 age-, sex- and BMI-matched sedentary controls revealed a higher concentration of GHS-R1a+ lymphocytes in active males (p<.05). These findings suggest a preferential recruitment of specific cell subpopulations expressing GHS-R1a into the peripheral circulation with acute and regular exercise. Given that the anti-inflammatory effects of ghrelin depend on the availability of GHS-R1a, the preferential recruitment of subpopulations with high anti-inflammatory potential found here add a novel aspect to the potential mechanisms by which exercise acts to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine levels.
- Growth hormone secretagogue receptor
- T cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience