Research Topic

The Positive Effects of Exercise on Insulin Sensitivity are Mediated by Improvements in Mitochondrial Physiology

About this Research Topic

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), obesity and their associated co-morbidities (heart failure, kidney disease, sarcopenia) are major health concerns in the world today. While numerous mechanisms have been proposed for this epidemic, it is well agreed upon that a lack of chronic physical exertion (exercise) in combination with consumption of a high fat western diet plays a causal role(s). Highlighting the importance of this idea, exercise in combination with diet are still considered front-line treatments for these diseases prior to pharmacological intervention. While exercise has a multitude of effects on different organ systems, an effect common to all tissues is an improvement in mitochondrial function which is pertinent as a loss of mitochondrial function has been noted in these diseases. However, an exact linkage between improved mitochondrial metabolism and insulin sensitivity remains elusive. Fully characterizing this linkage will enable new avenues of treatment for NIDDM and obesity.

This proposed Frontiers Research Topic seeks to identify data supporting a direct casual role of improved mitochondrial function in exercised induced improvements in insulin sensitivity in obesity and diabetes. Therefore, the goals of this proposal are to:
1. to provide a comprehensive overview of the data supporting a relationship between exercise induced improvements in insulin sensitivity and improved mitochondrial function;
2. to highlight the importance of mitochondrial function in metabolic diseases;
3. to present data describing the mechanisms whereby mitochondrial function affects insulin sensitivity;
4. to present data describing new state of the art techniques to investigate these relationships.

The scope of this proposed new Research Topic will be to provide an up to date assessment of the relationship between exercise induced improvements in insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function, encompassing the areas of exercise physiology, pharmacology and endocrinology.

Disclosure statement: Topic Editor Joseph Brozinick is employed by Eli Lilly and Company. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: metabolism, muscle, obesity, diabetes, mitochondria


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), obesity and their associated co-morbidities (heart failure, kidney disease, sarcopenia) are major health concerns in the world today. While numerous mechanisms have been proposed for this epidemic, it is well agreed upon that a lack of chronic physical exertion (exercise) in combination with consumption of a high fat western diet plays a causal role(s). Highlighting the importance of this idea, exercise in combination with diet are still considered front-line treatments for these diseases prior to pharmacological intervention. While exercise has a multitude of effects on different organ systems, an effect common to all tissues is an improvement in mitochondrial function which is pertinent as a loss of mitochondrial function has been noted in these diseases. However, an exact linkage between improved mitochondrial metabolism and insulin sensitivity remains elusive. Fully characterizing this linkage will enable new avenues of treatment for NIDDM and obesity.

This proposed Frontiers Research Topic seeks to identify data supporting a direct casual role of improved mitochondrial function in exercised induced improvements in insulin sensitivity in obesity and diabetes. Therefore, the goals of this proposal are to:
1. to provide a comprehensive overview of the data supporting a relationship between exercise induced improvements in insulin sensitivity and improved mitochondrial function;
2. to highlight the importance of mitochondrial function in metabolic diseases;
3. to present data describing the mechanisms whereby mitochondrial function affects insulin sensitivity;
4. to present data describing new state of the art techniques to investigate these relationships.

The scope of this proposed new Research Topic will be to provide an up to date assessment of the relationship between exercise induced improvements in insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function, encompassing the areas of exercise physiology, pharmacology and endocrinology.

Disclosure statement: Topic Editor Joseph Brozinick is employed by Eli Lilly and Company. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: metabolism, muscle, obesity, diabetes, mitochondria


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Abstract
07 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Abstract
07 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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