It is well known that exercise improves health, but understanding the way it makes it healthier at the molecular level is the question whose answer we will develop in this article.
After conducting experiments in both humans and mice, the researchers found that exercise training causes dramatic changes in adipose tissue. In addition, they discovered that this type of "trained" tissue releases factors in the bloodstream that can have positive effects on health. The study was published online on February 11, 2019, in Nature Metabolism.
It is known that adipose tissue cells secrete proteins called adipokines, and that many adipokines increase with obesity, which has harmful effects on metabolism and health.
"In contrast to the negative effects of many adipokines, our study identified transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGF-beta 2) as an adipokine released from adipose (fat) tissue in response to exercise that actually improves glucose tolerance. "Says Laurie J. Goodyear, PhD, Head of Joslin's Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism and co-author of the study.
Not only exercise-stimulated TGF-beta 2 improved glucose tolerance, the treatment of obese mice with TGF beta 2 reduced blood lipid levels and improved many other aspects of metabolism.
"The fact that a single protein has such important and dramatic effects was quite impressive," says Goodyear, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Two years ago, the international research team showed for the first time that adipose tissue offers beneficial metabolic effects in response to exercise.
"Our hypothesis was that exercise is changing fat, and as a result of that change, fat releases these beneficial proteins into the bloodstream," says Goodyear. "Before this discovery, we always focus on the positive effects of muscle."
Based on this idea, the Joslin researchers tried to identify the adipokines released from fat during exercise. For this, they performed a series of molecular experiments in both humans and mice. They identified adipokine levels in men before and after a cycle of exercise. They also studied the exercise of mice.
His analysis identified TGF beta 2 as one of the up-regulated proteins in exercise in humans and mice. Additional research confirmed that levels of this adipokine actually increased in adipose tissue as well as in the bloodstream with exercise, in both cases.
To find out if the protein promoted beneficial metabolic effects, they treated the mice with TGF beta 2. The experiment showed a series of positive metabolic effects in mice, including improved glucose tolerance and increased uptake of fatty acids.
Then, they fed the mice a high-fat diet, which caused the animals to develop diabetes. To know if TGF beta 2 was really responsible for the metabolic effects, they treated the diabetic mice with TGF beta 2. This reversed the negative metabolic effects of the high-fat diet, similar to what happens with exercise.
"Our results are important because it's actually the first demonstration of an adipokine released by exercise that can have beneficial metabolic effects on the body," says Goodyear.
Another significant finding was that lactic acid, which is released during exercise, serves as an integral part of the process. Lactate is released by the muscles during exercise and then travels to the fat where it causes the release of TGF beta 2.
"This research really revolutionizes the way we think about exercise and the many metabolic effects of exercise. And, what's more important, fat actually plays an important role in the way exercise works, "the researchers say.
These findings suggest that TGF beta 2 may be a potential therapy for the treatment of high blood sugar and, ultimately, a potential therapy for type 2 diabetes. Long-term studies will be needed to determine the safety of the patient. treatment with TGF beta 2.
In Kalstein we have equipment that allows the determination of proteins such as fluorometers. These perform a highly sensitive fluorescent detection for the quantification of these biomolecules, such as this adipocin. That's why we invite you to take a look HERE
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