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Response of plasma endorphins, prolactin and catecholamines in women to intense heat in a sauna.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.


Concentrations of immunoreactive beta-endorphin (ir beta-E), corticotropin, cortisol, prolactin and catecholamines in plasma were followed in 11 healthy women during and after exposure to intense heat in a Finnish sauna bath, and compared to those in a similar control situation without exposure to heat. Heat stress significantly increased prolactin and norepinephrine secretion; the percentage increases from the initial plasma concentrations varied from 113 to 1280% (mean 510%) and from 18 to 150% (mean 86%), respectively. The response of the plasma levels of epinephrine, ir beta-E, corticotropin and cortisol to heat exposure was variable. Compared to the control situation, no statistically significant effect of heat exposure on the plasma levels of these hormones was found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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