Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 879–885 | Cite as

Mechanisms underlying the neuroendocrine response to physical exercise

  • A. Leal-Cerro
  • A. Gippini
  • M. J. Amaya
  • M. Lage
  • J. A. Mato
  • C. Dieguez
  • F. F. Casanueva


Exercise initiates a coordinated series of physiological responses, including hy-pothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic nervous system activation, that, in combination, lead to the appropriate selection and utilization of metabolic substrates. Physical activity acts as a powerful stimulus for the hy-pothalamic-pituitary axis, leading to the liberation of several neuroendocrine hormones. The nature of this stimulation varies according to the kind of exercise (intensity, duration, aerobic, strength) and subject characteristics (gender, previous training), as well as depending on the time of the day and meal ingestion. As a whole, the neuroendocrine responses to exercise represent an accurate regulator of fuels (glucose, free fatty acids) homeostasis in a special situation characterized by a drastic increase of the energy requirements at muscle level. In this article the current knowledge about this topic is reviewed.


Exercise neuroendocrine pituitary hypothalamus hypotha-amic-pituitary axis GH cortisol gonadotropins FSH LH leptin 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Leal-Cerro
    • 1
  • A. Gippini
    • 2
  • M. J. Amaya
    • 1
  • M. Lage
    • 3
  • J. A. Mato
    • 2
  • C. Dieguez
    • 3
  • F. F. Casanueva
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of EndocrinologyVirgen del Rocio HospitalSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Endocrinology SectionComplejo Hospitalario de OurenseOurenseSpain
  3. 3.Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago, Endocrinology Section, Department of MedicineUniversity of Santiago de Compostela.Santiago de CompostelaSpain

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