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  • 1 Jingling Hospital Department of Endocrinology Nanjing China
  • 2 The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical College Department of Endocrinology Guangzhou China
  • 3 Jingling Hospital Department of Clinical Laboratory Nanjing China
  • 4 Jingling Hospital Department of Endocrinology Zhongshan Donglu, Road No. 305 Nanjing 210002 China
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Our studies explore the changes of blood corticosterone (CORT), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-6 concentrations and the pituitary ACTH expression in rats after water floating in the presence or absence of following high-intensity exercise. The rats were randomly assigned into three groups. Group A served as control; Group B received 180 minutes water floating and psychological (fear) stimulation; Group C received the same treatment as Group B in addition and 120-minutes non-stop running. Compared to Group A, Group B showed a significant increase of IL-2 (19.91 ± 2.52 vs. 13.09 ± 3.13 ng/ml, P < 0.05), and IL-6 (0.18 ± 0.08 vs. 0.12 ± 0.05 ng/ml, P < 0.05); Group C demonstrated a significant increase of CORT (977.22 ± 207.36 ng/ml vs. 434.58 ± 110.45 ng/ml, P <0.01) and IL-1β (0.21 ± 0.04 vs. 0.16 ± 0.06 ng/ml, P < 0.05), IL-2 (20.29 ± 4.23 vs. 13.09 ± 3.13 ng/ml, P < 0.05), and IL-6 (0.19 ± 0.03 vs. 0.12 ± 0.05 ng/ml, P < 0.05) levels, and a significant decrease of ACTH (16.95 ± 5.46 vs. 22.96 ± 7.32 pg/ml, P = 0.03). Immunohistochemical staining showed the decreased number of pituitary ACTH-positive cells in both Groups B and C (P < 0.05) as compared to Group A. These results have lead us to believe that acute psychological stress can activate the pituitary-adrenal axis and lead to elevation of serum IL-2, IL-6 concentrations. Combined with high-intensity exercise, it can result in the increase of serum CORT, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6 levels, and the suppression of ACTH.

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