Athletes use amphetamines to improve their performance through largely unknown mechanisms. Considering that body temperature is one of the major determinants of exhaustion during exercise, we investigated the influence of amphetamine on the thermoregulation. To explore this, we measured core body temperature and oxygen consumption of control and amphetamine-trea ted rats running on a treadmill with an incrementally increasing load (both speed and incline). Experimental results showed that rats treated with amphetamine (2 mg/kg) were able to run significantly longer than control rats. Due to a progressively increasing workload, which was matched by oxygen consumption, the control group exhibited a steady increase in the body temperature. The administration of amphetamine slowed down the temperature rise (thus decreasing core body temperature) in the beginning of the run without affecting oxygen consumption. In contrast, a lower dose of amphetamine (1 mg/kg) had no effect on measured parameters. Using a mathematical model describing temperature dynamics in two compartments (the core and the muscles), we were able to infer what physiological parameters were affected by amphetamine. Modeling revealed that amphetamine administration increases heat dissipation in the core. Furthermore, the model predicted that the muscle temperature at the end of the run in the amphetamine-treated group was significantly higher than in the control group. Therefore, we conclude that amphetamine may mask or delay fatigue by slowing down exercise-induced core body temperature growth by increasing heat dissipation. However, this affects the integrity of thermoregulatory system and may result in potentially dangerous overheating of the muscles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)