Reproductive hormones and interleukin-6 in serious leisure male athletes
- 325 Downloads
Lifestyles associated with different types and intensities of exercise result in improved health including positive changes in chronic low-grade inflammatory biomarkers. Alternatively, some forms of exercise adversely affect reproductive health of men, including changes in circulating reproductive hormones. To explore the associations between exercise intensity and circulating levels of reproductive hormones, and inflammatory analytes in serious leisure athletes (triathletes and cyclists) and recreational athletes. Male athletes 18–60 years old, 16 triathletes, 46 cyclists and 45 recreational athletes, were recruited to provide plasma for the measurement of total testosterone, estradiol, follicular stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), cortisol, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels, and calculation of free androgen index (FAI) and the estradiol:SHBG ratio (ESR). Plasma estradiol concentrations were more than two times higher in cyclists than in triathletes and recreational athletes (p < 0.01). Testosterone levels were also higher in cyclists than recreational athletes (p < 0.01), but not significantly different from triathletes. SHBG levels were higher in triathletes and cyclists than in recreational athletes (p < 0.01). LH levels were lower in cyclists than in recreational athletes (p < 0.05). IL-6 and IL-1β levels were each two times lower in triathletes than in cyclists (p < 0.05) and IL-6 levels were lower in cyclists than in recreational athletes (p < 0.01). IL-1β levels were two times lower in triathletes than in cyclists (p < 0.05). Circulating estradiol and testosterone levels were elevated in serious leisure male cyclists. This effect is discussed in light in the absence of a substantial concomitant change in gonadotropin levels and other variables.
KeywordsEstradiol Testosterone Reproductive hormones Men Serious leisure athletes Cytokines Interleukin
We would like to acknowledge the research participants, the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) nursing staff at UCLA for their support and Mauricio Pena for his support in preparing the data for this manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors are not aware of any conflict of interest.
- Bjerner J, Biernat D, Fosså SD, Bjøro T (2009) Reference intervals for serum testosterone, SHBG, LH and FSH in males from the NORIP project. Scand J Clin Lab Investig 69(8):873–879Google Scholar
- Calippe B, Douin-Echinard V, Laffargue M, Laurell H, Rana-Poussine V, Pipy B, Guery JC, Bayard F, Arnal JF, Gourdy P (2008) Chronic estradiol administration in vivo promotes the proinflammatory response of macrophages to TLR4 activation: involvement of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway. J Immunol 180(12):7980–7988PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cheung SS, McLellan TM, Tenaglia S (2000) The thermophysiology of uncompensable heat stress: physiological manipulations and individual characteristics. Sports Med 29(5):329–359Google Scholar
- Fragala MS, Kraemer WJ, Denegar CR, Maresh CM, Mastro AM, Volek JS (2011) Neuroendocrine–immune interactions and responses to exercise. Sports Med 41(8):621–639Google Scholar
- Jankord R, Jemiolo B (2004) Influence of physical activity on serum IL-6 and IL-10 levels in healthy older men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 36(6):960–964Google Scholar
- Khosla S, Melton LJ, Riggs BL (2002) Estrogen and the male skeleton. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87(4):1443–1450Google Scholar
- Lin CY, Lin MT, Cheng RT, Chen SH (2010) Testosterone depletion by castration may protect mice from heat-induced multiple organ damage and lethality. J Biomed Biotechnol 2010:485306Google Scholar
- Maimoun L, Lumbroso S, Manetta J, Paris F, Leroux JL, Sultan C (2003) Testosterone is significantly reduced in endurance athletes without impact on bone mineral density. Horm Res Paediatr 59(6):285–292Google Scholar
- Mastorakos G, Pavlatou M (2005) Exercise as a stress model and the interplay between the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal and the hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid axes. Horm Metab Res 37(09):577–584Google Scholar
- Pickering TG, Hall JE, Appel LJ, Falkner BE, Graves J, Hill MN, Jones DW, Kurtz T, Sheps SG, Roccella EJ (2005) Recommendations for blood pressure measurement in humans and experimental animals: part 1: blood pressure measurement in humans: a statement for professionals from the subcommittee of professional and public education of the American Heart Association Council on High Blood Pressure Research. Hypertension 45(1):142–161PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sousa e Silva T, Longui CA, Rocha MN, Faria CDC, Melo MR, Faria TG, de Souza JA, Rizzo LV (2010) Prolonged physical training decreases mRNA levels of glucocorticoid receptor and inflammatory genes. Horm Res Paediatr 74(1):6–14Google Scholar
- Timmons BW, Tarnopolsky MA, Snider DP, Bar-OR O (2006a) Immunological changes in response to exercise: influence of age, puberty, and gender. Medicine Sci Sports Exerc 38(2):293–304Google Scholar
- Vankrieken L (2000) Immulite® reproductive hormone assays, 4th edn. DPC Technical Report. Ref Type: ReportGoogle Scholar
- Ware JE, Kosinski MK, Keller SD (1996) A 12-item short-form health survey: construction of scales and preliminary tests of reliability and validity. Med Care 34(3):220–233Google Scholar
- Wittert GA, Livesey JH, Espiner EA, Donald RA (2012) Adaptation of the hypothalamopituitary adrenal axis to chronic exercise stress in humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc 28(8):1015–1019Google Scholar