» Even casual ties to others can better your health
Researchers found that when the JNK biological pathway was turned on in lab mice, they would respond poorly to endurance exercise training.
When the scientists knocked out the production of the JNK protein, the mice had a much higher increase in their aerobic exercise capacity as well as higher levels of blood vessels and a type of muscle fiber that would help with endurance compared with normal mice.
The researchers also repeated the tests on humans and received similar results. While lifting weights, researchers found JNK was activated in the leg muscles. But when the subjects cycled on a bike, an endurance exercise, JNK generally was not activated.
The study results have direct implications for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
The researchers are now looking at ways to inhibit JNK activation.
If over-activation of the JNK pathway during endurance exercise does indeed boost the risk of diabetes, and if scientists can figure out a way to stop that process, “we might be able to reverse the risk in some people,” said Lessard, assistant investigator of clinical, behavioral, and outcomes research at Joslin.