Amino Acids

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 35–47 | Cite as

Influence of exercise on serotonergic neuromodulation in the brain

  • H. Weicker
  • H. K. Strüder


Implications of exercise on serotonergic neuromodulation in the brain have been investigated in two studies. Acute paroxetine (selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitor) administration to endurance athletes, who performed a cycle ergometer test to exhaustion at moderate intensity, reduced time to exhaustion and post exercise cognitive performance in comparison to trials with placebo or BCAA administration. Furthermore, during a 3-week moderate endurance training of sedentary males basaline values of Bmax of 5-HT transporters (5-HTT) and 5-HT2A receptors (5-HT2AR) on isolated platelet membranes increased while plasma prolactin (PRL) concentrations decreased as well as mood and physical efficiency improved. In contrast, after an excessive training program over four weeks, well-trained endurance athletes showed no change of Bmax of 5-HTT, but a decline of 5-HT2AR density and an increase in basal plasma PRL concentration. Mood was impaired and central fatigue increased. Thus, the impact of exercise on 5-HT neurotransmission may depend on training state of athletes and extent of exertion. The theoretical background of the implication of exercise and the effect of long lasting exhaustive exercise in athletes on mental and physical efficiency or central fatigue are evaluated. The significance of the primary disturbance of central neuromodulation and dysfunction of 5-HTT, 5-HT receptor subtypes and the phosphoinositol signal transduction as well as the limited modulation capacity of the 5-HT system in overstrain are also addressed.

Keywords: Amino acids 5-HT transporter 5-HT2A receptor 5-HT reuptake inhibition Overstrain 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Weicker
    • 1
  • H. K. Strüder
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sports Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Federal Republic of GermanyDE
  2. 2.Department of Sport Games, German Sport University, Cologne, Federal Republic of GermanyDE

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