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Investigating the Response of the Dopamine Metabolite Homovanillic Acid (HVA) to Acute Physical Exercise in Lean Adults and Adults with Obesity

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Seven human subjects with body mass indices (BMIs) ranging from 19.4 kg/ m2 to 26.7 kg/ m2 and six human subjects with BMIs ranging from 32.1 kg/ m2 to 37.6

Seven human subjects with body mass indices (BMIs) ranging from 19.4 kg/ m2 to 26.7 kg/ m2 and six human subjects with BMIs ranging from 32.1 kg/ m2 to 37.6 kg/ m2 were recruited and subjected to 45-minute bouts of acute exercise to look at the changes in the plasma concentration of the dopamine metabolite homovanillic acid (HVA) in response to acute physical activity. Plasma HVA concentration was measured before exercise and during the last 10 minutes of the exercise bout via competitive ELISA. On average the optical density (OD) of the samples taken from lean subjects decreased from 0.203 before exercise to 0.192 during exercise, indicating increased plasma HVA concentration. In subjects with obesity OD increased from 0.210 before exercise to 0.219 during exercise, indicating reduced plasma HVA concentration. These differences in OD were not statistically significant. Between the lean group and the group with obesity no significant difference was observed between the OD of the plasma samples taken before exercise, but a significant difference (p = 0.0209) was observed between the ODs of the samples taken after exercise. This indicated that there was a significant difference between the percent changes in OD between the lean group and the group with obesity, which suggested that there may be a body weight-dependent difference in the amount of dopamine released in response to exercise. Because of the lack of significance in the changes in OD within the lean group and the group with obesity the results of this study were insufficient to conclude that this difference is not due to chance, but further investigation is warranted.

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  • 2021-05