Influence of an acute exercise on neutrophil and platelet adhesion, nitric oxide plasma metabolites in inactive and active subjects

L. Cuzzolin, S. Lussignoli, F. Crivellente, A. Adami, F. Schena, P. Bellavite, G. Brocco, Giuseppina Benoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this work we studied the influence of an acute exercise either on nitrite/nitrate plasma levels or on neutrophil and platelet adhesion in inactive and active subjects. Twelve healthy subjects (6 inactives and 6 actives) exercised on a racing cycle ergometer performing stepwise increases in intensity until reaching, within 5 min, a heart rate of 150 beats x min-1 which represents an oxygen consumption of about 75% of the individual maximum rate of oxygen uptake. From peripheral venous blood samples (drawn from all subjects before, immediately after the end of exercise, and 1 hour later) neutrophils and platelets were isolated to test plate adhesion, and nitrite/nitrate concentrations were measured in the plasma. Immediately after the acute exercise, in active subjects we observed a significant decrease in the percentage of neutrophil adhesion (7.96 ± 2.38 vs. 14.10 ± 3.14), associated with an increase in nitrite/nitrate plasma levels (81.38 ± 10.76 vs. 41.08 ± 8.13 μmol x l-1), restored by a 40 min pre-incubation with N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). In unstimulated platelets we observed a significant lower percentage of platelet adhesion in active subjects compared to inactives after exercise. With thrombin or adenosine 5'-diphosphate as agonists platelet adhesion did not result significantly different in active subjects compared to inactives. In conclusion, our data show that physical exercise can induce changes in some cell activities, even if transient, and favour the generation of nitric oxide. The lower adhesion of neutrophils and platelets induced by regular exercise could be an important goal in the prevention of vascular and inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-293
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Cell functions
  • Nitric oxide
  • Physical exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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