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Original articles  IMMUNOLOGY


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 December;42(3):481-7

language: English

Lymphocyte apoptosis in ovariectomized mice given progesterone and voluntary exercise

Hoffman-Goetz L., Fietsch C. L.

Department of Health Studies and Gerontology Faculty of Applied Health Sciences University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


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Background. At men­o­pause, ­many wom­en ­begin ­both exer­cise pro­grams and hor­mone replace­ment ther­a­py (HRT). Although the ­effects of estro­gen on exer­cise behav­ior and ­immune func­tions ­have ­been ­well char­ac­ter­ized, ­less is ­known ­about the behav­ior­al and immu­no­log­i­cal con­se­quenc­es of pro­ges­te­rone (P) admin­is­tra­tion. The pur­pose of the ­present ­study was to ­describe the ­effect of P on run­ning behav­ior and on lym­phoid tis­sue ­cell viabil­ity and apop­to­sis in ova­riec­to­mized ­female ­mice.
Methods. Adult ­female B6D2F1 ­mice ­were ova­riec­to­mized, ­allowed to recov­er for 1 ­week and implant­ed sub­cu­ta­ne­ous­ly ­with 25 mg pro­ges­te­rone (n=42) or pla­ce­bo pel­let (n=42). Within hor­mone treat­ment, ­mice ­were ran­dom­ized to run­ning ­wheels or no run­ning ­wheel con­di­tions. After 21 ­days of ­wheel run­ning and hor­mone expo­sure, ­mice ­were sac­ri­ficed for meas­ure­ments of ­body ­weight, tis­sue ­weights, and thy­mo­cyte and splen­o­cyte apop­to­sis, necro­sis and viabil­ity ­with annex­in-V ­FITC and ­propidi­um ­iodide by ­flow cytom­e­try.
Results. P treat­ed ­mice ­were heavi­er ­than pla­ce­bo con­trols at sac­ri­fice (p<0.001). Irrespective of hor­mone con­di­tion, ­mice ­increased the vol­ume of spon­ta­ne­ous activ­ity ­over ­time (p<0.001). Within the thy­mus, ­there ­were no dif­fer­enc­es by hor­mone or run­ning con­di­tion on per­cent apop­tois, necro­sis and viabil­ity. In the ­spleen, P mar­gi­nal­ly ­increased per­cent apop­to­sis (p<0.05) and ­reduced per­cent viabil­ity (p<0.001). Serum lev­els of P ­were high­er in the hor­mone ­replaced ­mice com­pared ­with pla­ce­bo ­mice (p<0.001) and in run­ning com­pared ­with sed­en­tary ­mice (p<0.01).
Conclusions. P replace­ment in ova­riec­to­mized ­mice ­does not ­alter run­ning vol­ume rel­a­tive to pla­ce­bo ani­mals. P ­alone was asso­ciat­ed ­with a ­small ­increase in splen­o­cyte apop­to­sis. The clin­i­cal rel­e­vance for post­men­o­pau­sal wom­en of lym­pho­cyte viabil­ity chang­es ­needs to be deter­mined.

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