chapter  3
42 Pages

The effects of exercise on blood leukocyte numbers

While the number and composition of certain leukocyte subtypes may not necessarily be indicative of cellular immune presence and function in other tissues, the peripheral circulation has been widely sourced, owing to the relative ease with which blood sampies can be obtained from exercising human participants. In modern clinics and research laboratories, totalleukocytes and leukocyte subset numbers are typically identified using an automated haematology analyser, which enumerates cells in blood according to their size and granularity. For the detection of more specialised cell subsets, fluorescently tagged monoclonal antibodies are used to bind to a surface receptor on the cell type of interest and quantified using a flow cytometer (see Technique box 3.1). The following sections of this chapter describe the effects of a single bout of exercise on the total number of leukocytes and leukocyte subsets present in the peripheral circulation.