Lower androgen levels have been suggested to be associated with type 2 diabetes and central obesity and are probably involved into the development of atherosclerosis. The present study investigates the effect of acute and chronic exercise on Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels in relation to abdominal fat distribution and metabolic status in type 2 diabetes. Twenty weight-stable, middle-aged males with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in the study and participated in a submaximal (VO(2) peak) and moderate (50% VO(2) peak) exercise bout. The subjects were randomly assigned either to a trained or a control group, respectively. Physical training consisted of an 8 week program of aerobic exercise (75% VO(2) peak, 45 min), twice a week and intermittent exercise, once a week, on a bicycle ergometer. Acute exercise significantly increased DHEA and Testosterone (T) levels. Physical training increased VO(2) peak (42%, p <0.001), insulin sensitivity index (K(ITT) ) (57.5%, p <0.02), and basal DHEA levels (36%, p <0.05), and decreased HbA1c (29%, p <0.001), visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (44%, p <0.01) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) levels (18%, p <0.01). Body weight, BMI and insulin, T levels were not modified. Changes in DHEA levels were not correlated with changes in insulin sensitivity and abdominal fat distribution. In conclusion, exercise training favourably affects DHEA levels independently of improvements of metabolic status and abdominal fat distribution in patients with type 2 diabetes.