How Muscle, Fat Tissues Respond to Exercise, Obesity

First-of-its-kind study reveals single-cell changes in metabolic tissues

Photo of woman in pink top lifting weights in a gym
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Exercise training is a well-known means of maintaining and restoring good health. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the benefits of exercise are not yet completely understood.

A new paper by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Joslin Diabetes Center in Cell Metabolism sheds light on the complex physiological response to exercise found in mice.

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Taking advantage of recent single-cell technologies and advancements in computational biology, a team led by co-author Laurie Goodyear, HMS professor of medicine at Joslin and senior investigator of Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at Joslin Diabetes Center, launched a collaboration with a computational biology and artificial intelligence lab at MIT led by co-author Manolis Kellis to investigate how three metabolic tissues respond to exercise and to high-fat diet-induced obesity at single-cell resolution.

These first-of-their-kind results provide a reference atlas of the single-cell changes induced by exercise and obesity in two different types of fat and muscle.