Salman Aljilani Rose Hills
Evaluating the role of lactate in conferring the beneficial effects of exercise on immunity
Exercise has been shown to be an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and also as an adjuvant to enhance vaccine efficacy in the elderly. Evidence accumulated by others suggests that lactate production formed as a byproduct of exercise may fuel many cellular functions. This includes improving energy metabolism, even in the presence of glucose, by boosting bioenergetic efficiencies in many different cell types (i.e. skeletal muscle and neurons) through a shuttling mechanism that facilitates movement of lactate into recipient cells. My project will monitor lymphocytes, a major player of our immune defense system, upon exposure with lactate to observe if these cells convert lactate into pyruvate via the catalytic activities of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase. This would suggest that exercise exerts its beneficial effects on lymphocyte proliferation and immunity through the lactate shuttle and the associated bioenergetic machinery. The evidence gathered in support of this proposed relationship would provide yet another mechanism by which exercise improves health.