Response of plasma endorphins, prolactin and catecholamines in women to intense heat in a sauna

Summary

Concentrations of immunoreactiveβ-endorphin (irβ-E), corticotropin, cortisol, prolactin and catecholamines in plasma were followed in 11 healthy women during and after exposure to intense heat in a Finnish sauna bath, and compared to those in a similar control situation without exposure to heat. Heat stress significantly increased prolactin and norepinephrine secretion; the percentage increases from the initial plasma concentrations varied from 113 to 1280% (mean 510%) and from 18 to 150% (mean 86%), respectively. The response of the plasma levels of epinephrine, irβ-E, corticotropin and cortisol to heat exposure was variable. Compared to the control situation, no statistically significant effect of heat exposure on the plasma levels of these hormones was found.

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Correspondence to T. Laatikainen.

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Laatikainen, T., Salminen, K., Kohvakka, A. et al. Response of plasma endorphins, prolactin and catecholamines in women to intense heat in a sauna. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 57, 98–102 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00691246

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Key words

  • Heat exposure
  • Sauna bath
  • β-endorphin
  • Prolactin
  • Catecholamines