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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Jul;23(7):839-45.

Catecholamine responses to acute and chronic exercise.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309.


The body can adjust to a variety of stressors (physical activity, environmental, emotional, etc.) that are known to disrupt normal homeostatic conditions. Specific metabolic and physiological adaptations are required for both acute and chronic stimuli. The sympathoadrenal system is essential for such adjustments as they control and regulate a number of key bodily functions. In response to an acute bout of exercise, both central and peripheral alterations are elicited. The extent of these responses is dependent upon exercise intensity, duration, and tissue specificity. Further, endurance training results in adaptations that are tissue specific and enhance the ability for the maintenance of exercise energetics. While a number of markers are frequently used to assess the involvement of the sympathoadrenal response (plasma and tissue norepinephrine and epinephrine levels), it is important to examine more specific variables such as rates of turnover, synthesis and removal, and activity of key enzymes related to catecholamine metabolism.

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