Alteration in blood leukocyte profile due to exercise and its implication

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Evaluation of peripheral blood leukocytes has been considered as a popular window to the immune system and its reaction. Numeration of leukocytes has long been a practical clinical marker of acute inflammation. Yet, the numbers and function of circulating leukocytes may also change during and after exercise to an extent comparable to inflammatory responses. A considerable amount of effort to elucidate the underlying mechanism of such changes in circulating leukocytes, however, has revealed quite a different picture showing a major contribution of neuroendocrine system independent of inflammatory processes. Interestingly a good correlation of blood leukocyte profile with athletic performance in endurance runners was reported. It is therefore important to understand and interpret the observed changes depending on the context to avoid misinterpretation especially regarding potential immunological risks unlikely to happen upon exercise. It is therefore agreeable that literature review suggests a minor or negligible immune perturbation of exercise to autoimmune disease patients, which may also be applied to atopic dermatitis patients. Under a cautious care and good control of sweating, dermatitis patients may most likely benefit from exercise and physical activity rather than to keep them away from exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalSkin Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 20
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 1


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Exercise
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocyte
  • NK cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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