Trevor Gillum1, Matthew Kuennen2, Tara Miller1, Layla Riley1
Salivary antimicrobial protein (AMP) expression is a primary determinant of mucosal immunity. This expression can be altered by exercise. While salivary IgA has been extensively studied, less is known about Lysozyme (Lys) and Lactoferrin (Lac). Knowledge on how sex and menstrual phase affect mucosal immunity is also limited. The purpose of this study was to examine how sex, menstrual phase, and exercise impact IgA, Lys, and Lac expression. Men (n=9) and women (n=9) ran for 45 min at 75% VO2peak. Women were tested in the follicular and luteal phase. Saliva was collected pre-exercise, immediately post-exercise and 1 h postexercise.Pre-exercise, women had higher secretion rates of IgA compared to men (154±۱۰۶ vs 85±۴۴ μg/min) (p<0.05). Lac secretion rate increased with exercise in both sexes and remained above baseline 1 h after exercise in men (7460±۴۸۳۹ ng/min), but had returned to pre-exercise levels at 1 h post-exercise in women (5720±۴۶۶۱ ng/min) (time*sex interaction, p<0.05). Men had higher secretion rates of Lys (p<0.05) at each time point compared to women (Men pre-exercise: 31042±۲۳۱۳۲, post-exercise: 29521±۱۳۲۰۵, ۱ h post-exercise: 41229±۳۱۲۷۰ ng/min vs Women pre-exercise: 11585±۱۰۳۶۷, post-exercise: 22719±۱۹۴۵۲, ۱ h post-exercise: 17303±۱۱۴۱۹ ng/min). Both sexes increased the secretion rate of Lys and Lac with exercise, whereas IgA was unchanged. Menstrual phase did not affect IgA, Lys, or Lac and men and women did not differ in saliva flow rates. In conclusion, regularly menstruating women who are not taking hormonal contraceptives differently express AMPs compared to men.
Keywords: Lactoferrin; Lysozyme; IgA; upper respiratory symptoms; oestrogen Sex and menstrual phase differences in AMP expression