Background: Little data exist regarding the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation and the interplay between the HPA axis and markers of pro- and anti-oxidation in children, following an acute aerobic exercise bout in children.
Objective and hypotheses: To investigate the changes of HPA axis hormones following an acute bout of aerobic exercise and their respective association with markers of pro- and anti- oxidation in normal weight and obese pre- and early- pubertal boys.
Method: The present experimental study involved two visits at an ergophysiology laboratory. At the first visit 76 healthy pre- and early- pubertal, normal weight and obese boys, underwent a maximal aerobic exercise bout on a cycle ergometer for VO2max measurement. At the second visit subjects underwent a baseline blood sampling, followed by an aerobic exercise bout until exhaustion at 70% VO2max and a subsequent (post-exercise) blood sampling. Samples were taken for the measurement of HPA axis hormones (ACTH and cortisol), pro-oxidation markers (thiobarbituric-acid reactive species (TBARS), protein carbonyls (PCs)) and anti-oxidation markers (glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), catalase, and total anti-oxidant capacity (TAC)).
Results: No difference was found between baseline and post exercise ACTH and cortisol concentrations in all subjects groups. Baseline cortisol concentration was the best predictor of post exercise catalase concentrations (P<0.05; b=0.47). Waist circumference followed by baseline cortisol concentrations were the best positive and negative predictors, respectively, of post exercise TBARS concentrations (P<0.05; b=0.74, b=−0.37).
Conclusion: Baseline cortisol concentrations predict positively and negatively anti- and pro- oxidation, respectively that are measured following an acute aerobic exercise bout in pre- and early pubertal normal-weight and obese boys. This finding might imply an additional protective role of this anti-inflammatory hormone against excessive oxidation. Aerobic exercise bouts of greater duration and/or intensity are required to activate the HPA axis than the one employed in the present study.
01 - 03 Oct 2015
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology