The purpose of present study was to investigate plasma adiponectin response to acute exercise in highly trained male rowers. Ten rowers performed a maximal 6,000-m rowing ergometer test [mean performance time approximately 20 min; 1,200.8 (29.9) s], and venous blood samples were obtained before, immediately after and after 30 min of recovery. In addition to adiponectin concentration, leptin, insulin, growth hormone and glucose values were measured. Adiponectin was not changed immediately after the exercise when uncorrected for plasma volume changes (-8.1%; P>0.05). However, adiponectin was decreased immediately after the exercise when adjusted for plasma volume changes (-11.3%; P<0.05). Adiponectin was significantly increased above the resting value after the first 30 min of recovery (uncorrected for plasma volume, +19.3%; corrected for plasma volume, +20.0%). No changes occurred in plasma leptin and insulin concentrations with exercise (uncorrected for plasma volume changes). While growth hormone and glucose values were significantly increased and decreased to the pre-exercise level immediately after the exercise and after the first 30 min of recovery, respectively (uncorrected for plasma volume changes), no differences in the responses to exercise were observed in these measured blood parameters when adjusting for plasma volume changes. There were no relationships between plasma adiponectin and other measured blood parameters before and after the exercise, nor were changes in adiponectin related to changes in other measured blood biochemical values after the exercise. These results suggest that plasma adiponectin is altered as a result of maximal acute exercise in highly trained athletes.