Horm Metab Res 2010; 42(5): 334-339
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1248250
Original Basic

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Neurohumoral and Metabolic Response to Exercise in Water

S. Wiesner1 , A. L. Birkenfeld2 , S. Engeli3 , S. Haufe1 , L. Brechtel4 , J. Wein4 , M. Hermsdorf1 , B. Karnahl5 , M. Berlan6 , M. Lafontan6 , F. C. G. J. Sweep7 , F. C. Luft1 , J. Jordan3
  • 1Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center, Medical Faculty of the Charité and HELIOS Klinikum, Berlin, Germany
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT, USA
  • 3Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • 4Institute of Sport Sciences and Sport Medicine, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany
  • 5Institute of Sport Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 6Inserm Unit 858, Institut de Médecine Moléculaire de Rangueil, and Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  • 7Department of Chemical Endocrinology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Further Information

Publication History

received 07.07.2009

accepted 18.01.2010

Publication Date:
22 February 2010 (online)


Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) stimulates lipid mobilization and lipid oxidation in humans. The mechanism appears to promote lipid mobilization during exercise. We tested the hypothesis that water immersion augments exercise-induced ANP release and that the change in ANP availability is associated with increased lipid mobilization and lipid oxidation. In an open randomized and cross-over fashion we studied 17 men (age 31±3.6 years; body mass index 24±1.7 kg/m2; body fat 17±6.7%) on no medication. Subjects underwent two incremental exercise tests on a bicycle ergometer. One test was conducted on land and the other test during immersion in water up to the xiphoid process. In a subset (n=7), we obtained electromyography recordings in the left leg. We monitored gas exchange, blood pressure, and heart rate. In addition, we obtained blood samples towards the end of each exercise step to determine ANP, norepinephrine, epinephrine, lactate, free fatty acids, insulin, and glucose concentrations. Heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and oxygen consumption at the anaerobic threshold and during peak exercise were similar on land and with exercise in water. The respiratory quotient was mildly reduced when subjects exercised in water. Glucose and lactate measurements were decreased whereas free fatty acid concentrations were increased with exercise in water. Water immersion attenuated epinephrine and norepinephrine and augmented ANP release during exercise. Even though water immersion blunts exercise-induced sympathoadrenal activation, lipid mobilization and lipid oxidation rate are maintained or even improved. The response may be explained by augmented ANP release.



J. Jordan, MD 

Institute of Clinical Pharmacology

Hannover Medical School

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