1. There is evidence that opioid peptides influence blood pressure and heart rate in animals and man. In the present investigation the effect of naloxone on the exercise-induced increase in blood pressure, heart rate, plasma catecholamines, plasma renin activity (PRA) and plasma aldosterone was investigated in nine healthy men. A submaximal work test was performed on two occasions. The test consisted of ergometer bicycling for 10 min on 50% of maximal working capacity immediately followed by 10 min on 80% of maximal working capacity. Ten minutes before exercise the subjects received in a randomized manner a bolus dose of naloxone (10 μg/kg) or a corresponding volume of saline followed by a slow infusion (15 ml/h) of naloxone (5 μ h−1 kg−1) or saline, respectively.
2. After exercise systolic blood pressure, heart rate, plasma catecholamines, PRA and plasma aldosterone increased during both saline and naloxone infusion. The changes were similar in both studies.
3. Accordingly, opiate receptors sensitive to naloxone in a moderate dosage seem not to be involved in the cardiovascular response and the increase in plasma catecholamines, PRA and plasma aldosterone induced by exercise.