PerspectiveMetabolism

Exercised cytokines promote endurance

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Science  01 May 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6490, pp. 470-471
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb4116

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Summary

Exercise is important for human health. Many of the beneficial effects of exercise come from the activation of metabolism to drive muscle contraction, which mobilizes and utilizes fuel stores and promotes healthy systemic energy homeostasis. Conversely, sedentary behaviors are linked to higher incidence of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders, but also neurodegeneration and certain types of cancer (1). For these reasons, identifying the molecular mediators of the benefits of exercise could provide new therapeutic tools to fight many chronic diseases. On page 488 of this issue, Knudsen et al. (2) report that the cytokine interleukin-13 (IL-13) is produced in mouse skeletal muscle tissue and increases with exercise. This cytokine is necessary for the metabolic adaptation to exercise and enhances endurance and systemic metabolism in mice.

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