Background: Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a key receptor involved in inflammatory responses. Previous studies showed that aerobic exercise training could reduce GR expression on circulating leukocytes, reflecting a reduced responsiveness to stress, and thereby improve health in asthmatics. However, the cellular mechanism of this response is not completely understood.
Methods: We reanalyzed the multi-panel (Basophils, Eosinophils, Combo) flow cytometry (FCM) data in a recently published study using cutting-edge computational approaches. The study measured GR expression in leukocytes in response to a 30-minute acute exercise challenge before and after an 8-week training intervention of healthy and asthmatic adolescents. Both predefined and novel leukocyte subsets were identified using data clustering methods. Characteristics of the identified cell populations and the experiment variables and clinical parameters were associated using a mixed-effect regression model.