Exercise-dependent growth hormone release is linked to markers of heightened central adrenergic outflow

Arthur Weltman, Cathy J. Pritzlaff, Laurie Wideman, Judy Y. Weltman, Jeffery L. Blumer, Robert D. Abbott, Mark L. Hartman, Johannes D. Veldhuis

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Abstract

To test the hypothesis that heightened sympathetic outflow precedes and predicts the magnitude of the growth hormone (GH) response to acute exercise (Ex), we studied 10 men [age 26.1 ± 1.7 (SE) yr] six times in randomly assigned order (control and 5 Ex intensities). During exercise, subjects exercised for 30 min (0900-0930) on each occasion at a single intensity: 25 and 75% of the difference between lactate threshold (LT) and rest (0.25LT, 0.75LT), at LT, and at 25 and 75% of the difference between LT and peak (1.25LT, 1.75LT). Mean values for peak plasma epinephrine (Epi), plasma norepinephrine (NE), and serum GH concentrations were determined [Epi: 328 ± 93 (SE), 513 ± 76, 584 ± 109, 660 ± 72, and 2,614 ± 579 pmol/l; NE: 2.3 ± 0.2, 3.9 ± 0.4, 6.9 ± 1.0, 10.7 ± 1.6, and 23.9 ± 3.9 nmol/l; GH: 3.6 ± 1.5, 6.6 ± 2.0, 7.0 ± 2.0, 10.7 ± 2.4, and 13.7 ± 2.2 μg/l for 0.25, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, and 1.75LT, respectively]. In all instances, the time of peak plasma Epi and NE preceded peak GH release. Plasma concentrations of Epi and NE always peaked at 20 min after the onset of Ex, whereas times to peak for GH were 54 ± 6 (SE), 44 ± 5, 38 ± 4, 38 ± 4, and 37 ± 2 min after the onset of Ex for 0.25-1.75LT, respectively. ANOVA revealed that intensity of exercise did not affect the foregoing time delay between peak NE or Epi and peak GH (range 17-24 min), with the exception of 0.25LT (P < 0.05). Within-subject linear regression analysis disclosed that, with increasing exercise intensity, change in (Δ) GH was proportionate to both ΔNE (P = 0.002) and ΔEpi (P = 0.014). Furthermore, within-subject multiple-regression analysis indicated that the significant GH increment associated with an antecedent rise in NE (P = 0.02) could not be explained by changes in Epi alone (P = 0.77). Our results suggest that exercise intensity and GH release in the human may be coupled mechanistically by central adrenergic activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-635
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume89
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Catecholamines
  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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    Weltman, A., Pritzlaff, C. J., Wideman, L., Weltman, J. Y., Blumer, J. L., Abbott, R. D., Hartman, M. L., & Veldhuis, J. D. (2000). Exercise-dependent growth hormone release is linked to markers of heightened central adrenergic outflow. Journal of applied physiology, 89(2), 629-635. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.2000.89.2.629