Aging is characterized by a progressive decline in immune function known as immunosenescence. Although the causes of immunosenescence are likely to be multifactorial, an age-associated accumulation of senescent T cells and decreased naive T-cell repertoire are key contributors to the phenomenon. On the other hand, there is a growing consensus that physical exercise may improve immune response in aging. However, the optimum training modality required to obtain beneficial adaptations in older subjects is lacking. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effects of exercise modality on T-cell phenotypes in older women. A total of 100 women (aged ≥ 65 years) were randomized to either intensive strength training (80% of one-repetition maximum), strength endurance training (40% one-repetition maximum), or control (stretching exercise) for 2-3 times per week during 6 weeks. The T-cell percentages and absolute counts were determined using flow cytometry and a hematology analyzer. C-reactive protein was measured using immunonephelometry. We report for the first time that 6 weeks of strength endurance training significantly decreased the basal percentage and absolute counts of senescence-prone T cells, which was positively related to the number of training sessions performed. Conceivably, training protocols with many repetitions - at a sufficiently high external resistance - might assist the reduction of senescence-prone T cells in older women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1870-1878
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


  • ageing
  • immune function
  • immunosenescence
  • Women

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