The effect of official competition on blood leucocyte subsets and serum immunoglobulins in male karateka

Document Type : original article


Department of Exercise Physiology, Ilam Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ilam, Iran


Purpose: Psychological stresses induced by competition, can cause immune system alternations, which predisposes the athletes to infectious diseases more than common exercises. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of official sports competition on leucocyte, and subsets counts, immunoglobulin A (IgA), G (IgG), and cortisol levels in male karatekas.
Methods: Ten male karatekas (aged: 22.9±2.6 yr, height 176.4±8.3 cm, and body mass index 21.2±1.5 kg/m2), acceded to final competition of Ilam province, were selected. Blood samples were collected before, immediately and 2 hours after the competition to measure the number of leukocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophil’s counts and IgA, IgG and cortisol levels.
Results: The leucocyte (P=0.001), lymphocyte (P=0.001), and monocyte (P=0.003) counts were significantly increased immediately after the competition but returned to baseline 2h after the competition. Neutrophil and eosinophil counts did not change immediately and 2h after the competition (P>0.05). The serum levels of IgA (P=0.037) and IgG (P=0.04) were decreased significantly immediately after the competition and returned to baseline 2h after the competition. Also, the serum cortisol level was increased significantly immediately after the competition (P=0.0001) but decreased 2h later, compared to before (P=0.01) and immediately (P=0.001) after the competition results.
Conclusion: Based on the findings of the present study, official competition can cause transient depression on humoral immunity in young male karatekas. It seems that 2h rest after the competition is sufficient for the recovery of leucocyte subset counts and immunoglobulin changing induced by competitions.


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  • Receive Date: 23 September 2015
  • Revise Date: 20 October 2021
  • Accept Date: 31 December 2020
  • First Publish Date: 31 December 2020
  • Publish Date: 23 August 2018