Int J Sports Med 2009; 30(12): 906-912
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1237389

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Aerobic Conditioning on Salivary IgA and Plasma IgA, IgG and IgM in Older Men and Women

R. A. Martins1 , M. R. Cunha2 , A. P. Neves3 , M. Martins2 , M. Teixeira-Veríssimo4 , A. M. Teixeira1
  • 1University of Coimbra, Faculdade de Ciências do desporto e Educação Física, Centro de Estudos Biocinéticos, Coimbra, Portugal
  • 2University of Coimbra Hospitals, laboratory of Clinical Pathology, Coimbra, Portugal
  • 3Arganil Health Care Center, Laboratory of Clinical Analysis, Arganil, Portugal
  • 4University of Coimbra, Faculdade de Medicina, Centro de Estudos Biocinéticos, Coimbra, Portugal
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision July 13, 2009

Publication Date:
25 November 2009 (online)


As people age, they experience a decline in immune responses. Unusually heavy acute or chronic exercise could increase the risk of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) whereas regular moderate physical activity may reduce URTI symptomatology. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether an aerobic exercise program would promote chronic adaptations in plasma IgA, IgG and IgM, and salivary IgA (Sal-IgA) in both elderly women and men. Forty-three independently living men and women, aged between 65 and 96 years, were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercising or a control group. Each participant underwent three evaluations (pre, post at 16 weeks and follow-up at 32 weeks). The aerobic exercise group increased resting plasma IgA concentration from 1.08 g. L−1±0.50 g. L−1 to 2.29 g. L−1±0.93 g. L−1, whereas salivary IgA concentration was unchanged. The control group maintained the plasma IgA values but experienced a decrease in Sal-IgA. The IgG and IgM plasma concentrations increased in both groups, however, only the exercise group maintained higher values in the final follow-up evaluation. Regular aerobic exercise may be effective in promoting IgA immunity and protecting against the deterioration in Sal-IgA values observed in the control group. No gender differences in the immunoglobulin responses to aerobic training were observed.


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Dr. A. M. Teixeira

Faculdade de Ciências do

Desporto e Educação Física

Centro de Estudos Biocinéticos

Estádio Universitário

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