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Endocrine Abstracts (2015) 37 EYES1.4 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.37.EYES1.4


1Clinic for Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolic Diseases, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia; 2Clinic for Cardiology, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Activation of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a common feature of endocrine responses to stress, with cortisol secretion as an end product of this activation. Acute rise in cortisol level during stress is of utmost importance for metabolic adjustments, immune system adaptations, cardiovascular responses and muscle tissue remodeling. But since chronic hypercortisolism has many deleterious effects, scientific interest has started focusing around different biological models of chronic stress, and ways HPA axis adapts to this situation. Chronic dysregulation of HPA axis activity seems to be associated with the onset and course of several psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders, with most replicated findings in patients with major depressive disorder. Another model represents people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with still controversial neurobiological findings. As opposed to models of adaptation to chronic psychological stress, our interest focuses on professional athletes, exposed to very specific pattern of physical stress. This model of stress is chronic but intermittent, and on a level of CNS perceived as harmless as opposed to different harmful psychological stressors. But being repetitive it provokes adaptations of many organ systems, with adaptations of cardiovascular system and body composition being well familiar as a common knowledge. Still, not much is known about HPA axis adaptation in professional athletes, but since this subpopulation is generally considered as healthy, it is speculated that whichever form of adaptation ensues, it should be protective long term. We analyzed two groups of professional athletes engaged in two different types of sport (mostly dynamic/aerobic vs mostly static/anaerobic). Our aim was to address their HPA axis adaptation by comparing responses to acute physical challenge to responses of sedentary subjects who were properly matched.

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