There is mounting evidence that increased brain serotonin during exercise is associated with the onset of CNS-mediated fatigue. Serotonin receptor sensitivity is likely to be an important determinant of this fatigue. Alterations in brain serotonin receptor sensitivity were examined in Wistar rats throughout 6 weeks of endurance training, running on a treadmill four times a week with two exercise tests per week to exhaustion. Receptor sensitivity was determined indirectly as the reduction in exercise time in response to a dose of a serotonin (1A) agonist, m-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP). The two groups of controls were used to examine (i) the effect of the injection per se on exercise performance and (ii) changes in serotonin receptor sensitivity associated with maturation. In the test group, undrugged exercise performance significantly improved by 47% after 6 weeks of training (4518 ± 729 to 6640 ± 903 s, P=0.01). Drugged exercise performance also increased significantly from week 1 to week 6 (306 ± 69–712 ± 192 s, P = 0.04). Control group results indicated that the dose of m-CPP alone caused fatigue during exercise tests and that maturation was not responsible for any decrease in receptor sensitivity. Improved resistance to the fatiguing effects of the serotonin agonist suggests desensitization of central serotonin receptors, probably the 5-HT1A receptors. Endurance training appears to stimulate an adaptive response to the fatiguing effects of increased brain serotonin, which may enhance endurance exercise performance.
Field of Research
110602 Exercise Physiology
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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