Exerkines in health, resilience and disease

Lisa S. Chow, Robert E. Gerszten, Joan M. Taylor, Bente K. Pedersen, Henriette van Praag, Scott Trappe, Mark A. Febbraio, Zorina S. Galis, Yunling Gao, Jacob M. Haus, Ian R. Lanza, Carl J. Lavie, Chih Hao Lee, Alejandro Lucia, Cedric Moro, Ambarish Pandey, Jeremy M. Robbins, Kristin I. Stanford, Alice E. Thackray, Saul VilledaMatthew J. Watt, Ashley Xia, Juleen R. Zierath, Bret H. Goodpaster, Michael P. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The health benefits of exercise are well-recognized and are observed across multiple organ systems. These beneficial effects enhance overall resilience, healthspan and longevity. The molecular mechanisms that underlie the beneficial effects of exercise, however, remain poorly understood. Since the discovery in 2000 that muscle contraction releases IL-6, the number of exercise-associated signalling molecules that have been identified has multiplied. Exerkines are defined as signalling moieties released in response to acute and/or chronic exercise, which exert their effects through endocrine, paracrine and/or autocrine pathways. A multitude of organs, cells and tissues release these factors, including skeletal muscle (myokines), the heart (cardiokines), liver (hepatokines), white adipose tissue (adipokines), brown adipose tissue (baptokines) and neurons (neurokines). Exerkines have potential roles in improving cardiovascular, metabolic, immune and neurological health. As such, exerkines have potential for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity, and possibly in the facilitation of healthy ageing. This Review summarizes the importance and current state of exerkine research, prevailing challenges and future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-289
Number of pages17
JournalNature Reviews Endocrinology
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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