European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 247–254

Obesity and catecholamine responses to maximal exercise in adolescent girls

  • H. Zouhal
  • G. Jabbour
  • H. Youssef
  • A. Flaa
  • E. Moussa
  • C. Groussard
  • C. Jacob
Original Article


The aim of this study was to investigate plasma catecholamine [adrenaline (A) and noradrenaline (NA)] concentrations at rest and in response to maximal exercise in three different groups of adolescent girls. According to their body mass index, 34 adolescent girls aged 15–16 years were divided into three groups: a normal weight group (NO) (n = 11), an overweight group (OW) (n = 11) and an obese group (OB) (n = 12). Plasma A and NA concentrations were measured at rest during fasting conditions (A0 and NA0), after a standardized breakfast (Arest and NArest) and immediately after an incremental exhaustive exercise (AEX and NAEX). A0 and NA0 were not significantly different among the three groups. However, the A0/NA0 was statistically lower in OB compared to OW and NO. AEX and NAEX were significantly higher than resting values in the three groups. However, in response to exercise, no significant differences were reported between OB (AEX = 2.20 ± 0.13 nmol/l, NAEX = 12.28 ± 0.64 nmol/l), OW (AEX = 2.39 ± 0.23 nmol/l, NAEX = 12.94 ± 0.93 nmol/l) and NO (AEX = 2.52 ± 0.24 nmol/l, NAEX = 12.60 ± 0.63 nmol/l). In conclusion, our results showed that at rest, in adolescent girls, the responsiveness of the adrenal medulla to the sympathetic nervous activity is lower in OB subjects compared to OW and NO ones. However, in response to maximal exercise, plasma catecholamines are not affected by obesity.


Overweight Adolescence Adrenaline Noradrenaline Maximal oxygen uptake 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Zouhal
    • 1
  • G. Jabbour
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Youssef
    • 1
  • A. Flaa
    • 3
  • E. Moussa
    • 2
  • C. Groussard
    • 1
  • C. Jacob
    • 2
  1. 1.Movement, Sport, Health and Sciences Laboratory (M2S), UFR-APSUniversity of Rennes 2-ENS CachanRennes CedexFrance
  2. 2.Physiology and Biomechanics of Physical Performance Laboratory, Physical Education DepartmentUniversity of BalamandTripoliLebanon
  3. 3.Cardiovascular and Renal Research Center, Department of Acute MedicineUllevaal University HospitalOsloNorway

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