Androgen and glucocorticoid mechanisms in exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy

R. C. Hickson*, T. M. Galassi, T. T. Kurowski, D. G. Daniels, R. T. Chatterton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Female rats were trained daily by means of two 2-h-long bouts of swimming separated by a 30- to 40-min rest period. Absolute ventricular weights of the swimmers were increased above sedentary control values by 6% after 2 days, 15% after 7 days, and 30% after 35 days of exercise. Resting levels of total and free serum testosterone and total 5α-dihydrotestosterone were not altered by the training. Total serum corticosterone concentrations at rest were significantly lower in the 7-day (149 ± 16 ng/ml) and 35-day (169 ± 24) swimmers compared with the controls (293 ± 26). However, free corticosterone was not significantly reduced from controls in any of the swimming groups. Ventricular muscle cytosol androgen receptor binding dissociation constants and receptor binding capacities, measured using [3H]methyltrienolone (R1881), were not significantly different from control values in the exercised groups. Glucocorticoid cytosol receptor binding capacity in ventricular tissue, determined using [3H]dexamethasone, was significantly increased in the 35-day swimmers compared with controls when expressed as femtomoles per milligram protein (39.3 ± 3.1 vs. 31.4 ± 1.4) and femtomoles per milligram DNA (2,683 ± 226 vs. 1,786 ± 71). These findings show that glucocorticoids, rather than androgens, undergo adaptive changes in the circulation and in muscle during the development of exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H761-H767
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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