Effect of 8 wk of bicycle training on the immune system of patients with rheumatoid arthritis
The effect of 8 wk of progressive bicycle training on the immune system was evaluated in a controlled study on 18 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and moderate disease activity. Maximal O2 uptake increased significantly, whereas heart rate at stage 2 and rate of perceived exertion decreased significantly, in the training group compared with the controls. Resting levels of a number of immune parameters were measured before and after 4 and 8 wk of training. Training did not induce changes in blood mononuclear cell subpopulations, proliferative response, or natural killer cell activity. Furthermore the plasma concentrations of interleukin-1 alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and interleukin-6 did not change in response to training. It is concluded that 8 wk of bicycle training does not influence the immune system of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.