Assembling a comprehensive map of the molecular changes that occur in response to movement

The 100-plus scientists training for NIH Common Fund's Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans program at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center are the subjects for CNN and ABC News stories, and articles in U.S. News & World Report, SF Gate in San Francisco, The Washington Times, The National Post of Canada, New Orleans CityBusiness, Houma Today, the Thibodaux Daily Comet, KTBS in Shreveport. Also, the news has been featured on 87 other websites. 

Decades of research have shown that exercise is good for people, but scientists don’t know what’s going on at the body’s most basic level. Scientists are looking to learn which molecules change after exercise and which molecules transmit the benefits to the organs and tissues that aren’t directly involved in physical activity. The program aims to develop a user-friendly database that any researcher can access to develop hypotheses regarding the mechanisms whereby physical activity improves or preserves health, facilitating investigator-initiated studies and catalyzing the field of physical activity research.

Pennington is among 12 universities and institutions working together to study 2,400 sedentary adults and 300 who work out at least four hours a week. Marcas Bamman at UAB's Center for Exercise Medicine, Bret Goodpaster at the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes, Orlando, Florida, and Scott Trappe at the Ball State University Human Performance Laboratory are co-PIs for one of the adult Clinical Centers in the MoTrPAC program. the University of Alabama serves as the awardee organization for this project (1U01AR071133-01)

Investigators will be looking for people from a variety of racial and ethnic groups. Forty per cent of the sedentary people will be chosen at random for four hours a week of supervised endurance training, 40 per cent for supervised resistance training and the rest will be assigned to remain couch potatoes.

All 2,700 study participants will undergo a battery of tests and give muscle, fat and blood samples at the start and after three months. They’ll have tests of cardiopulmonary function, muscular strength, and body composition. They’ll be given wearable devices to monitor their physical activity levels when they’re not in the lab. They’ll be interviewed and fill out questionnaires at the start and end.

Learn more about this program.

Posted: June 5, 2018