Enhanced coupling within gonadotropic and adrenocorticotropic axes by moderate exercise in healthy men

Ferdinand Roelfsema, Rebecca J. Yang, Thomas P. Olson, Michael J. Joyner, Paul Y. Takahashi, Johannes D. Veldhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Context: Exercise elicits incompletely defined adaptations of metabolic and endocrine milieu, including the gonadotropic and corticotropic axes. Objective: To quantify the impact of acute exercise on coordinate luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone (T) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol secretion in healthymen in relation to age. Participants and Design: Prospectively randomized, within-subject crossover study in 23 men aged 19 to 77 years old. Subjects underwent rest and 30 minutes of mixed exercise at 65% of maximal aerobic capacity with 10-minute blood sampling between 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM, 2 weeks apart. Main Outcome Measures: Incremental changes in LH, T, ACTH, and cortisol concentrations, the feedforward and feedback strength between exercise and rest, quantified by approximate entropy (ApEn), and bihormonal synchrony, quantitated by cross-ApEn. Results: Mean hourly exercise-minus-rest LH and ACTH increments increased from 20.055 6 0.187 to 0.755 6 0.245 IU/L (P = 0.003) and from 2.9 6 2.2 to 71.2 6 16.1 ng/L (P < 0.0001), respectively, during exercise. T and cortisol increments increased concurrently from 29.6 6 16.7 to 47.6 6 17.1 ng/dL (P < 0.0001) and 0.45 6 0.76 to 7.27 6 0.64 mg/dL (P < 0.0001), respectively. During exercise, feedforward and feedback LH-T and ACTH-cortisol cross-ApEn decreased markedly quantifying enhanced hormonal coupling. Conclusions: Acute moderate mixed exercise in healthy men rapidly enhances feedforward LH-T and ACTH-cortisol coordination and reciprocal feedback within the gonadotropic and corticotropic axes. In principle, enhancement of both LH-T and ACTH-cortisol secretory synchrony by exercise could reflect augmented coupling between brain-testicular and brain-adrenal neural outflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2482-2490
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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