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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692On-line version ISSN 1806-9940


CONTARTEZE, Ricardo Vinicius Ledesma; MANCHADO, Fúlvia de Barros; GOBATTO, Claudio Alexandre  and  MELLO, Maria Alice Rostom de. Biomarkers of stress in rats exercised in swimming at intensities equal and superior to the maximal estable lactate phase. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.3, pp.169-174. ISSN 1517-8692.

INTRODUCTION: The level of stress during acute/chronic exercise is important, since higher levels of stress may impair animal welfare. The adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) and corticosterone hormone concentrations, as well as cholesterol and ascorbic acid concentrations in adrenal gland, are considered an important stress biomarker. PURPOSE: To analyze the sensitivity of the different biomarkers during acute swimming exercise in different intensities performed by rats. METHODS: Male Wistar adult rats (n = 18) previously adapted to swimming were submitted to three 25 min. swimming tests with loads of 5.0; 5.5 and 6.0% of their body weight (BW), for maximum lactate steady state (MLSS) determination. After MLSS attainment, the animals were divided into two groups: M (n = 9) sacrificed shortly after a 25 min. session of exercise at the MLSS intensity or S (n = 9) sacrificed after exhaustive exercise at intensity 25% above MLSS. For comparison purposes, a control group C (n = 10) was sacrificed in rest. RESULTS: Serum ACTH and corticosterone concentrations were higher after exercise for the two groups (M and S) when compared with control group C (P < 0.05). The group S presented higher concentrations for both hormones in relation to the group M (P < 0.05). The concentrations of the cholesterol and ascorbic acid in adrenal were lower after exercise for the two groups (M and S) when compared with control group C (P < 0.05). No significant differences in adrenal ascorbic acid and cholesterol levels were observed when the two exercise intensities (M and S) were compared (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: All biomarkers of HPA activity pointed alterations in the stress level of the rats submitted to acute swimming exercise. ACTH and corticosterone serum concentrations showed to be more sensitive to small alterations in the effort intensity.

Keywords : Continuous exercise; Effort intensity; Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.

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