Does exercise attenuate age- and disease-associated dysfunction in unconventional T cells? Shining a light on overlooked cells in exercise immunology.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Unconventional T Cells (UTCs) are a unique population of immune cells that links innate and adaptive immunity. Following activation, UTCs contribute to a host of immunological activities, rapidly responding to microbial and viral infections and playing key roles in tumor suppression. Aging and chronic disease both have been shown to adversely affect UTC numbers and function, with increased inflammation, change in body composition, and physical inactivity potentially contributing to the decline. One possibility to augment circulating UTCs is through increased physical activity. Acute exercise is a potent stimulus leading to the mobilization of immune cells while the benefits of exercise training may include anti-inflammatory effects, reductions in fat mass, and improved fitness. We provide an overview of age-related changes in UTCs, along with chronic diseases that are associated with altered UTC number and function. We summarize how UTCs respond to acute exercise and exercise training and discuss potential mechanisms that may lead to improved frequency and function.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hanson, ED; Bates, LC; Bartlett, DB; Campbell, JP

Published Date

  • July 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 121 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 1815 - 1834

PubMed ID

  • 33822261

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1439-6327

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00421-021-04679-4


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany