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Endocrine. 2003 Aug;21(3):261-5.

Effects of high-intensity exercise on leptin and testosterone concentrations in well-trained males.

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Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA 70402, USA.



A number of investigations have examined the effect of exercise on leptin concentrations, because leptin is associated with obesity, satiety, and reproductive function. High-intensity exercise is known to increase testosterone, an inhibitor of leptin. The objective of the study was to determine whether the leptin responses to a progressive, intermittent exercise protocol were related to serum testosterone concentrations. Most previous studies have examined leptin responses to low or moderately high exercise intensities. A second objective was to determine whether leptin responses were different than previous experiments using intermittent moderate and high-intensity exercise.


Well-trained runners completed strenuous intermittent exercise consisting of treadmill running at 60, 75, 90, and 100% VO(2 max) and a subsequent resting control trial was also conducted.


There were significant increases in mean serum levels of leptin and testosterone with both quickly returning to baseline during recovery, but no relationship between the two hormones was found. After examining individual data for both hormones, it was discovered that subjects could be classified as leptin responders or nonresponders, whereas testosterone increased in all subjects. Responders had elevated serum leptin levels at baseline and exhibited increases after high-intensity exercise, whereas nonresponders did not show changes in leptin during exercise.


Data suggest testosterone levels do not acutely affect leptin responses to exercise or 1-h of recovery. Moreover, varied leptin responses to intense exercise in comparable well-trained runners was observed and was associated with baseline leptin concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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