University of Oulu

Maurer, D. J., Liu, C., Xepapadaki, P., Stanic, B., Bachert, C., Finotto, S., Gao, Y., Graser, A., Jartti, T., Kistler, W., Kowalski, M., Lukkarinen, H., Pasioti, M., Tan, G., Villiger, M., Zhang, L., Zhang, N., Akdis, M., Papadopoulos, N. G., & Akdis, C. A. (2022). Physical activity in asthma control and its immune modulatory effect in asthmatic preschoolers. Allergy, 77(4), 1216–1230.

Physical activity in asthma control and its immune modulatory effect in asthmatic preschoolers

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Author: Maurer, Debbie J.1,2,3; Liu, Chengyao1,4; Xepapadaki, Paraskevi5;
Organizations: 1Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University of Zurich, Davos, Switzerland
2Swiss Research Institute for Sports Medicine (SRISM), Davos, Switzerland
3Department of Sports Medicine, Davos Hospital, Davos, Switzerland
4Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
5Allergy Department, 2nd Pediatric Clinic, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
6Upper Airway Research Laboratory, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
7Department of Molecular Pneumology, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
8Department of Allergology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
9Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
10PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
11Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
12Department of Immunology, Rheumatology and Allergy, Central University Hospital, Lodz, Poland
13Department of Allergy, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
14Division of Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
15Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education, Davos, Switzerland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 8.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-09


Background: The impact of physical activity on immune response is a hot topic in exercise immunology, but studies involving asthmatic children are scarce. Our aims were to examine whether there were any differences in the level of physical activity and daily TV attendance, to assess its role on asthma control and immune responses to various immune stimulants.

Methods: Weekly physical activity and daily television attendance were obtained from questionnaires at inclusion of the PreDicta study. PBMC cultures were stimulated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA), R848, poly I:C, and zymosan. A panel of cytokines was measured and quantified in cell culture supernatants using luminometric multiplex immunofluorescence beads-based assay.

Results: Asthmatic preschoolers showed significantly more TV attendance than their healthy peers (58.6% vs. 41.5% 1–3 h daily and only 25.7% vs. 47.2% ≤1 h daily) and poor asthma control was associated with less frequent physical activity (PA) (75% no or occasional activity in uncontrolled vs. 20% in controlled asthma; 25% ≥3 times weekly vs. 62%). Asthmatics with increased PA exhibited elevated cytokine levels in response to polyclonal stimulants, suggesting a readiness of circulating immune cells for type 1, 2, and 17 cytokine release compared to subjects with low PA and high TV attendance. This may also represent a proinflammatory state in high PA asthmatic children. Low physical activity and high TV attendance were associated with a decrease in proinflammatory cytokines. Proinflammatory cytokines were correlating with each other in in vitro immune responses of asthmatic children, but not healthy controls, this correlation was more pronounced in children with sedentary behavior.

Conclusion: Asthmatic children show more sedentary behavior than healthy subjects, while poor asthma control is associated with a substantial decrease in physical activity. Our results suggest that asthmatic children may profit from regular exercise, as elevated cytokine levels in stimulated conditions indicate an immune system prepared for responding strongly in case of different types of infections. However, it has to be considered that a hyperinflammatory state in high PA may not be beneficial in asthmatic children.

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Series: Allergy
ISSN: 0105-4538
ISSN-E: 1398-9995
ISSN-L: 0105-4538
Volume: 77
Issue: 4
Pages: 1216 - 1230
DOI: 10.1111/all.15105
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This research was funded by PreDicta, EU 7th framework programme, Contract No: HEALTH-F2-2010-260895 and Swiss National Science Foundation. Open Access Funding provided by Universitat Zurich.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.