Hormone to Boost Stamina
The study in mice shows that exercise causes muscle to release a peptide that builds the muscle’s capacity for energy production and increases physical endurance, allowing for longer and more intense exercise.
The findings establish that the peptide, called musclin, is an “exercise factor,” a hormone-like substance made by skeletal muscle in response to exercise and released into the bloodstream.
The study shows that increased levels of circulating musclin trigger a signaling cascade that improves muscle performance and promotes production of mitochondria in muscle cells.
Exercise is an extremely powerful way to improve people’s health, but unfortunately, increasing physical activity can be really difficult in many circumstances, says senior author Leonid Zingman from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.
He said that “We don’t want to replace exercise by using this exercise factor, but if we can learn more about the mechanism it might help us to increase exercise tolerance and make it easier for people to actually exercise. And if it is easier, people may exercise more.”
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.