A1 Journal article – refereed
Opioid Release after High-Intensity Interval Training in Healthy Human Subjects

List of Authors: Saanijoki Tiina, Tuominen Lauri, Tuulari Jetro J, Nummenmaa Lauri, Arponen Eveliina, Kalliokoski Kari, Hirvonen Jussi
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Neuropsychopharmacology
Journal name in source: Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Journal acronym: Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume number: 43
Issue number: 2
Number of pages: 9
ISSN: 1740-634X

Central opioidergic mechanisms may modulate the positive effects of physical exercise such as mood elevation and stress reduction. How exercise intensity and concomitant effective changes affect central opioidergic responses is unknown. We studied the effects of acute physical exercise on the cerebral μ-opioid receptors (MOR) of 22 healthy recreationally active males using positron emission tomography (PET) and the MOR-selective radioligand [11C]carfentanil. MOR binding was measured in three conditions on separate days: after a 60-min aerobic moderate-intensity exercise session, after a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, and after rest. Mood was measured repeatedly throughout the experiment. HIIT significantly decreased MOR binding selectively in the frontolimbic regions involved in pain, reward, and emotional processing (thalamus, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, hippocampus, and anterior cingulate cortex). Decreased binding correlated with increased negative emotionality. Moderate-intensity exercise did not change MOR binding, although increased euphoria correlated with decreased receptor binding. These observations, consistent with endogenous opioid release, highlight the role of the μ-opioid system in mediating affective responses to high-intensity training as opposed to recreational moderate physical exercise.

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Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 10:42