Exercise and neuroendocrine modulation of macrophage function

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Like all immune cells, Mφ's cannot simply be viewed as individual cells, but as part of a complex network of cells and tissues that communicate in many different ways in an attempt to elicit an appropriate host response to immune and other challenges. Mφ's are important initial effector cells and are highly regulated by other cells (including T and B lymphocytes) and hormones produced by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Indeed, it may well be that stressors, including exercise, exert their regulatory influence over these cells by activating the SNS, HPA axis, or by influencing other tissues or cells. With this in mind, the overall objective of this review is to introduce and provide current information regarding the role of neuroendocrine factors in mediating exercise-induced changes in macrophage (Mφ) function. Under this broad objective this review will: 1) briefly discuss the cell biology of the Mφ and its role in host defense, 2) explore the potential regulatory influence of selected neuroendocrine hormones (glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone, prolactin, and β-endorphin) that may potentially mediate exercise-induced changes in Mφ function, and 3) describe the effects of exercise on the functions of the Mφ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine, Supplement
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 21 2000


  • Exercise
  • Hormones
  • Immune function
  • Macrophage
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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