Purpose: To investigate the association of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis with pro- and anti- oxidation, in relation to puberty and obesity in boys, before and after an aerobic exercise bout.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional human observational study of 92 healthy normal-weight, obese pre- and early- pubertal boys that underwent a blood sampling, before, and after an aerobic exercise bout at 70% VO2max, until exhaustion. LH, FSH, total testosterone (tT) and markers of pro- (TBARS and PCs) and anti- (GSH, GSSG, GPX, catalase, TAC) oxidation were measured.
Results: Baseline LH, FSH, and tT concentrations were greater in early, than in pre- pubertal boys, independently of weight status. Post-exercise, LH concentrations decreased in early pubertal boys while FSH concentrations did not change in any of the studied groups. Baseline and post-exercise tT concentrations were lower in obese than in normal-weight early pubertal boys, while baseline and post-exercise LH and FSH concentrations did not differ between these groups. Post-exercise tT concentrations increased in early pubertal obese boys. Baseline LH, FSH and tT concentrations correlated positively with baseline anti-oxidation markers concentrations in pre-pubertal boys. Baseline tT concentrations correlated positively with the increase of TAC concentrations in early pubertal normal-weight boys. In all boys, baseline LH concentrations were the best positive predictors for the exercise-associated increase of TAC concentrations.
Conclusions: It appears that the HPT axis maturation during puberty (in particular its LH and testosterone components) is positively associated with the increase of anti-oxidation during a bout of aerobic exercise.
Keywords: HPT axis; LH, FSH, testosterone; obesity; puberty.