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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1987 Aug;63(2):654-8.

Plasma free and sulfoconjugated catecholamine responses to varying exercise intensity.

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  • 1Department of Human Kinetics, School of Allied Health Professions, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 53201.


Plasma free catecholamines rise during exercise, but sulfoconjugated catecholamines reportedly fall. This study examined the relationship between exercise intensity and circulating levels of sulfoconjugated norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. Seven exercise-trained men biked at approximately 30, 60, and 90% of their individual maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) for 8 min. The 90% VO2max period resulted in significantly increased plasma free norepinephrine (rest, 219 +/- 85; exercise, 2,738 +/- 1,149 pg/ml; P less than or equal to 0.01) and epinephrine (rest, 49 +/- 49; exercise, 555 +/- 516 pg/ml; P less than or equal to 0.05). These changes were accompanied by consistent increases in sulfoconjugated norepinephrine at both the 60% (rest, 852 +/- 292; exercise, 1,431 +/- 639; P less than or equal to 0.05) and 90% (rest, 859 +/- 311; exercise, 2,223 +/- 1,015; P less than or equal to 0.05) VO2max periods. Plasma sulfoconjugated epinephrine and dopamine displayed erratic changes at the three exercise intensities. These findings suggest that sulfoconjugated norepinephrine rises during high-intensity exercise.

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