Drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise could soon become a reality thanks to breakthrough research from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.
Published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the research exposed a thousand molecular changes that occur in our muscles when we exercise, providing the world’s first comprehensive exercise blueprint.
“Exercise is the most powerful therapy for many human diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders,” said Professor David James the head of the research group that undertook the study.
“However, for many people, exercise isn’t a viable treatment option. This means it is essential we find ways of developing drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise.”
Using mass spectrometry to study a process called protein phosphorylation, the study discovered that short, intensive exercise triggers more than 1000 changes.
The majority of changes they discovered have not previously been associated with exercise, with existing research focusing on just a small number of changes.
“Exercise produces an extremely complex, cascading set of responses within human muscle. It plays an essential role in controlling energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity,” said co-author Dr Nolan Hoffman.
“While scientists have long suspected that exercise causes a complicated series of changes to human muscle, this is the first time we have been able to map exactly what happens.”
“This is a major breakthrough, as it allows scientists to use this information to design a drug that mimics the true beneficial changes caused by exercise,” Dr Hoffman said.
Source: The University of Sydney