Exercise is believed to aid in weight loss and prevent weight gain. However, because there are so many cells and tissues involved, it has been challenging to pinpoint the cellular mechanisms that underpin this process.
We all battled weight gain and loss, and to keep our weight in check, we’ve all engaged in exercises like weightlifting and running. We have all likewise questioned why some workouts cause us to gain weight whereas others aid in weight loss.
Because there are so many different cells and organs involved, it has been difficult for researchers to figure out the mechanisms underpinning this process until now. This is the first time they have looked at what happens at the cellular level. A group of specialists looked at mice to understand how diet and exercise impact the body.
The most recent studies might open the way to the development of innovative drugs that could complement or mimic the benefits of a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have improved their understanding of how exercise and diet affect the body by mapping out many of the cells, genes, and cellular pathways that are affected by exercise or a high-fat diet in a recent study in mice. According to the researchers, the findings could provide prospective targets for medications that could assist to imitate or increase the advantages of exercise.
The scientists looked at mice with high-fat or regular diets that were either sedentary or allowed to exercise whenever they felt like it. The researchers compiled the responses of 53 different cell types present in skeletal muscle and two other types of adipose tissue using single-cell RNA sequencing.
The study, which was published today in the journal Cell Metabolism, was co-authored by Kellis and Laurie Goodyear, a senior scientist at the Joslin Diabetes Center and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The paper’s lead authors are Jiekun Yang, a research scientist at MIT CSAIL; Maria Vamvini, a medical teacher at the Joslin Diabetes Center; and Pasquale Nigro, a medical instructor at the Joslin Diabetes Center.