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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2003 Sep;95(3):1125-31. Epub 2003 May 16.

Neurohumoral responses during prolonged exercise in humans.

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Department of Human Physiology, Institute of Exercise and Sport Sciences, August Krogh Institute, , DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


This study examined neurohumoral alterations during prolonged exercise with and without hyperthermia. The cerebral oxygen-to-carbohydrate uptake ratio (O2/CHO = arteriovenous oxygen difference divided by arteriovenous glucose difference plus one-half lactate), the cerebral balances of dopamine, and the metabolic precursor of serotonin, tryptophan, were evaluated in eight endurance-trained subjects during exercise randomized to be with or without hyperthermia. The core temperature stabilized at 37.9 +/- 0.1 degrees C (mean +/- SE) in the control trial, whereas it increased to 39.7 +/- 0.2 degrees C in the hyperthermic trial, with a concomitant increase in perceived exertion (P < 0.05). At rest, the brain had a small release of tryptophan (arteriovenous difference of -1.2 +/- 0.3 micromol/l), whereas a net balance was obtained during the two exercise trials. Both the arterial and jugular venous dopamine levels became elevated during the hyperthermic trial, but the net release from the brain was unchanged. During exercise, the O2/CHO was similar across trials, but, during recovery from the hyperthermic trial, the ratio decreased to 3.8 +/- 0.3 (P < 0.05), whereas it returned to the baseline level of approximately 6 within 5 min after the control trial. The lowering of O2/CHO was established by an increased arteriovenous glucose difference (1.1 +/- 0.1 mmol/l during recovery from hyperthermia vs. 0.7 +/- 0.1 mmol/l in control; P < 0.05). The present findings indicate that the brain has an increased need for carbohydrates during recovery from strenuous exercise, whereas enhanced perception of effort as observed during exercise with hyperthermia was not related to alterations in the cerebral balances of dopamine or tryptophan.

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