Award Date

May 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences

First Committee Member

James W. Navalta

Second Committee Member

Jenifer Utz

Third Committee Member

Richard Tandy

Fourth Committee Member

John Young

Number of Pages



Introduction: Emerging research suggests that the lymphocyte immune response during exercise is amplified in individuals who are positive for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV+). However, the responses of monocytes and neutrophils in HCMV+ individuals are unknown. HCMV, a type of herpes virus, infects 50% or more of the adult population in the United States. This virus can become a cause for concern in individuals who have a compromised immune system, which has been shown to occur after high-intensity exercise.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to characterize the lymphocyte, monocyte, and neutrophil responses to exercise in HCMV+ individuals.

Methods: Participants were male (n = 7) and female (n = 9), between the ages of 18 and 44 (26.38 + 8.94) years old. Participants were either positive (HCMV+) or negative (HCMV-) for HCMV. Participants visited the Exercise Physiology laboratory on three separate occasions: (1) HCMV screening, (2) 100% VO2max test, (3) 80% VO2max run for 20 minutes. Four blood samples were taken during the third visit: (1) Pre-exercise, (2) Post-exercise, (3) 30 minutes post-exercise, and (4) 60 minutes post-exercise. 2 (virus status) x 4 (sampling condition) mixed-model factorial ANOVA procedures with repeated measures on sampling condition were performed on absolute and relative circulating lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils.

Results: No interactions of absolute or relative values for HCMV status and time were found for any of the three leukocyte subsets. Significant main effects for time for both absolute (neutrophils: p < .001; monocytes: p < .001; lymphocytes: p < .001) and relative (neutrophils: p < .001; monocytes: p < .001; lymphocytes: p < .001) values were seen for all leukocyte subsets regardless of virus status. Significant differences for absolute and relative values were seen between sampling conditions for all leukocyte subsets.

Discussion: The effects of high-intensity exercise on circulating monocyte and neutrophil volumes in the post-exercise period were the main findings of this study. We report for the first time that HCMV status does not affect circulating neutrophil responses to high-intensity exercise, though exercise-induced neutrocytosis (a significant increase in neutrophil volume) is seen during the post-exercise and 60 minutes post-exercise sampling conditions, regardless of HCMV status. There is no HCMV effect on circulating monocyte responses to exercise, though exercise-induced monocytosis was seen during the post-exercise sampling condition regardless of HCMV status.


Cytomegalovirus; Exercise; Leukocyte; Lymphocyte; Monocyte; Neutrophil


Immunity | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Medicine and Health Sciences

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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