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Refractory neutrophils and monocytes in patients with inflammatory bowel disease after repeated bouts of prolonged exercise
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  • Roy Spijkerman,
  • Lilian Hesselink,
  • Carlo Bertinetto,
  • Coen Bongers,
  • Falco Hietbrink,
  • Nienke Vrisekoop,
  • Luke Leenen,
  • Maria Hopman,
  • Jeroen Jansen,
  • Leo Koenderman
Roy Spijkerman
UMC Utrecht
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Lilian Hesselink
UMC Utrecht
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Carlo Bertinetto
Radboud University Nijmegen
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Coen Bongers
UMC Sint Radboud
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Falco Hietbrink
UMC Utrecht
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Nienke Vrisekoop
UMC Utrecht
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Luke Leenen
UMC Utrecht
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Maria Hopman
UMC Sint Radboud
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Jeroen Jansen
Radboud University Nijmegen
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Leo Koenderman
UMC Utrecht
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Abstract

Rationale Neutrophils and monocytes are key immune effector cells in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is associated with chronic inflammation in the gut. Patients with stable IBD who exercise have fewer flare-ups, but no underlying mechanism has been identified. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the responsiveness of these innate immune cells after repeated bouts of prolonged exercise in IBD patients and controls. Methods Patients with IBD and age- and gender-matched healthy controls were recruited from a cohort of walkers participating in a 4-day walking event. Blood analysis was performed at baseline and after 3 days of walking. Responsiveness to the bacterial/mitochondrial N-Formylmethionine-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLF) was tested in granulocytes and monocytes by measuring the expression of activation markers after adding this stimulus to whole blood Results In total 38 participants (54±12 years) were included in this study: 19 walkers with and 19 walkers without IBD. After 3 days of prolonged exercise, a significant increase in responsiveness to fMLF was observed in all participants irrespective of disease. However, IBD patients showed significantly smaller increase in neutrophils (p=0.010; p=0.030; p=0.010, respectively) and monocytes (p=0.001; p=0.008; p=0.005, respectively), compared to controls. Conclusions Increased responsiveness of neutrophils and monocyte to fMLF was demonstrated after repetitive bouts of prolonged exercise. Interestingly, this exercise was associated with relative refractoriness of both neutrophils and monocytes in IBD patients. These refractory cells might create a lower inflammatory state in the intestine providing a putative mechanism for the decrease in flare-ups in IBD patients after repeated exercise.