Thyroid and testicular hormone responses to graded and prolonged exercise in man

  • H. Galbo
  • L. Hummer
  • I. B. Petersen
  • N. J. Christensen
  • N. Bie


Eight men were studied during graded (47, 77 and 100% of maximal oxygen uptake) and prolonged (76%) exhaustive treadmill running. Plasma catecholamine levels increased progressively with intensity and duration of exercise. Serum concentrations of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) increased with increasing work loads and were 107 (58–243)% (P<0.001) above resting values after maximal work. Thyroxine, triiodothyronine and luteinizing hormone in serum never changed significantly. While a small increase in testosterone concentrations (13 [1–24]%) after maximal exercise probably could be explained by changes in plasma volume, a definite increase (31 [14–56]%) occurred after 40 min of prolonged exercise. During continued exercise testosterone concentrations then gradually declined. Testicular stimulation by the increased catecholamine concentrations possibly contributed to the rise in testosterone concentrations, but no evidence was found for a direct catecholamine induced increase in the activity of the thyroid gland. The exercise induced increase in TSH levels possibly explains the increased thyroid hormone secretion rate, which previously has been found in individuals participating in physical training programs.

Key words

Catecholamines Epinephrine Norepinephrine Luteinizing hormone Thyroid-stimulating hormone 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Galbo
    • 1
  • L. Hummer
    • 2
  • I. B. Petersen
    • 3
  • N. J. Christensen
    • 4
  • N. Bie
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Physiology BUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear MedicineRigshospitaletCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Clinical ChemistryFinsen HospitaletCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.Second Clinic of Internal MedicineKommunehospitaletAarhusDenmark

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