The effect of submaximal endurance training (SET) on sympatho-drenal activity is not clear. We tested the hypothesis that SET (90 min/day, 5 days/wk, for 12 wk) elevates mRNA expression of catecholamine (CA) biosynthetic enzymes, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DbetaH) in the adrenal medullae of adult, female Sprague-Dawley rats. SET increased TH protein level by 35%, TH activity by 62%, TH mRNA expression by 40%, and DbetaH mRNA expression by 67%. In addition, we examined the effect of SET on Fos-related antigens (FRAs), FRA-2 immunoreactivity, and activator protein (AP)-1 binding activity. SET increased AP-1 binding activity by 78%; however, it did not affect late FRAs and FRA-2 immunoreactivity. Because the regulation of neuropeptide Y (NPY) often parallels that of CAs, we also examined the effect of SET on NPY mRNA expression. Indeed, SET elevated NPY mRNA expression as well. We conclude that 1) SET elicits a pretranslational stimulatory effect on adrenomedullary CA biosynthetic enzymes, 2) another immediate early mRNA product, rather than FRA- 2, may contribute to the increase in AP-1 binding activity in response to SET, and 3) SET increases NPY mRNA expression.