Effects of Endurance Training on Endocrine Response to Physical Exercise after 5 Days of Bed Rest in Healthy Male Subjects


Address for correspondence: Juraj Koška, MD, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, NIH, 4212 N. 16th St., Rm. 5-33, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA. Voice: 602-200-5328; fax: 602-200-5335. e-mail: jkoska@mail.nih.gov


Abstract: The study was designed to evaluate how a bout of endurance training (ET) influences the endocrine response after head-down bed rest (HDBR). Eleven healthy males completed the study, which consisted of a 6-wk ET followed by 5 days of −6° head-down HDBR. Treadmill exercise at 80% of pretraining maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) was performed before and after ET as well as after HDBR. ET increased VO2max by 13%. The response of norepinephrine was attenuated after ET and exaggerated after HDBR (P < 0.001). The differences in epinephrine responses were not statistically significant. The responses of cortisol and plasma renin activity (PRA) were unchanged after ET and were enhanced after HDBR (P < 0.001). The response of growth hormone after HDBR was reduced (P < 0.05). Only the change in cortisol response was associated with the increment of VO2max after ET (r= 0.68, P < 0.01). Endurance training failed to completely prevent changes in endocrine responses seen after HDBR. Improvement of physical fitness was associated with an enhancement of the cortisol response to exercise following the period of bed rest.