The Effect of Competitive Training on Anti-Viral Immune Activity in Collegiate Gymnasts

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Smeins, Laurel
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The Department of Kinesiology seeks to provide an ample knowledge of physical activity and active living to students both within and outside of the program; by providing knowledge of the role of movement and physical activity throughout the lifespan, it seeks to improve the lives of all members of the community. Its options for students enrolled in the department include: Athletic Training; Community and Public Health; Exercise Sciences; Pre-Health Professions; and Physical Education Teacher Licensure. The Department of Physical Education was founded in 1974 from the merger of the Department of Physical Education for Men and the Department of Physical Education for Women. In 1981 its name changed to the Department of Physical Education and Leisure Studies. In 1993 its name changed to the Department of Health and Human Performance. In 2007 its name changed to the Department of Kinesiology. Dates of Existence: 1974-present. Historical Names: Department of Physical Education (1974-1981), Department of Physical Education and Leisure Studies (1981-1993), Department of Health and Human Performance (1993-2007). Related Units: College of Human Sciences (parent college), College of Education (parent college, 1974 - 2005), Department of Physical Education for Women (predecessor) Department of Physical Education for Men
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It is a commonly held belief that increased physical fitness has a large capacity to enhance immunity, however, previous research has suggested that periods of intense training in collegiate athletes can lead to reduced anti-viral immune ability, which can decrease resistance to illnesses such as influenza. Studies in this area can improve knowledge regarding the impact of physiological and psychological distress in high-performing athletes and be used to improve training paradigms to facilitate a balance that maximizes athletic performance while minimizing detrimental effects on immune function. In the current study, blood was collected from female collegiate gymnasts (n=13) at three time points throughout the training season. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated ex-vivo and challenged with Influenza A/PR/8/34. The genomic and proteomic profile of this antiviral response was characterized using qPCR and multiplex cytokine arrays, respectively. Additionally, weekly training logs were collected from participants, and Profile of Mood States (POMS) surveys were administered at each time point. Early results have shown a differential expression in gene and protein data for interferon anti-viral related genes during periods with high training loads, indicating that intense training did influence the anti-viral profile, possibly due to an increase in physiological and psychological stress.
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