Gender-dependent effects of exercise training on serum leptin levels in humans

Matthew S. Hickey, Joseph A. Houmard, Robert V. Considine, Gilian L. Tyndall, Jack B. Midgette, Karen E. Gavigan, Melinda L. Weidner, Michael R. McCammon, Richard G. Israel, Jose F. Caro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Scopus citations


Leptin, the product of the ob gene, is elevated in obese humans and appears to be closely related to body fat content. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the effect of aerobic exercise training on systemic leptin levels in humans. Eighteen sedentary middle-aged men (n = 9) and women (n = 9) who did not differ in aerobic capacity (29.4 ± 1.2 vs. 27.5 ± 1.2 ml·kg-1·min-1) or insulin sensitivity index (3.41 ± 1.12 vs. 4.88 ± 0.55) were studied. Fat mass was significantly lower in females vs. males (21.83 ± 2.25 vs. 26.99 ± 2.37 kg, P < 0.05). Despite this, fasting serum leptin was significantly higher in the females vs. males (18.27 ± 2.55 vs. 9.88 ± 1.26 ng/ml, P < 0.05). Serum leptin concentration decreased 17.5% in females (P < 0.05) after 12 wk of aerobic exercise training (4 day/wk, 30-45 min/day) but was not significantly reduced in males. Fat mass was not altered after training in either group. In contrast, both aerobic capacity (+13% males, +9.1% females) and insulin sensitivity (+35% males, + 82% females) were significantly improved subsequent to training. These data suggest that 1) women have higher circulating leptin concentrations despite lower fat mass and 2) exercise training appears to have a greater effect on systemic leptin levels in females than in males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E562-E566
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4 35-4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • adipose tissue
  • aerobic capacity
  • insulin
  • metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gender-dependent effects of exercise training on serum leptin levels in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Hickey, M. S., Houmard, J. A., Considine, R. V., Tyndall, G. L., Midgette, J. B., Gavigan, K. E., Weidner, M. L., McCammon, M. R., Israel, R. G., & Caro, J. F. (1997). Gender-dependent effects of exercise training on serum leptin levels in humans. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, 272(4 35-4), E562-E566.