Effect of acute and chronic exercise on plasma amino acids and prolactin concentrations and on [3H]ketanserin binding to serotonin2A receptors on human platelets.Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1999; 79(4):318-24EJ
The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) has been shown to modulate various physiological and psychological functions such as fatigue. Altered regulation of the serotonergic system has been suggested to play a role in response to exercise stress. In the present study, the influence was investigated of acute endurance exercise and short-term increase in the amount of training on the concentrations of the 5-HT precursor tryptophan (TRP), of prolactin (PRL) and of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) in the blood, as well as on the binding of [3H]ketanserin to the serotonin-2A (5-HT2A) receptors on platelets. Nine healthy endurance-trained men were tested the day before (I) and after (II) a 9-day training programme. Samples of venous blood were drawn after an overnight fast and following 5 h of cycling. Fasted and post-exercise plasma concentrations of free TRP, BCAA and free TRP:BCAA ratio did not differ between I and II. A significant decrease of plasma BCAA (P < 0.01) and significant augmentations of plasma free TRP, free TRP:BCAA ratio and PRL (P < 0.01) were found post-exercise. The increase in plasma PRL was smaller in II compared with I. Acute endurance exercise reduced the density of platelet 5-HT2A receptor [3H]ketanserin binding sites at I and II (P < 0.05). The basal density of the binding sites and the affinity of [3H]ketanserin for these binding sites were unaffected by an increase in the amount of training. The present results support the hypothesis that acute endurance exercise may increase 5-HT availability. This was reflected in the periphery by increased concentration of the 5-HT precursor free TRP, by increased plasma PRL concentration, and by a reduction of 5-HT2A receptors on platelets. It remains to be resolved whether these alterations in the periphery occur in parallel with an increase in the availability of 5-HT in the brain.