Research Topic

The Muscle as an Endocrine Organ and the Muscle Brain Interaction

About this Research Topic

For half a century, researchers sought a link between muscle contraction and changes in peripheral organs in the form of an “exercise factor”. The cytokine IL‑6 was the first myokine, serendipitously discovered, found to be secreted into the bloodstream in response to muscle contractions. Myokines are produced, expressed, and released by muscle fibers; exert either autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine effects. Receptors for myokines are found on muscle, fat, liver, pancreas, bone, heart, immune, and brain cells. Among other functions they participate in tissue regeneration and repair, maintenance of healthy bodily functioning, immunomodulation; and cell signaling, expression and differentiation.

Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is released by muscle contraction and acts locally in fat oxidative metabolism inside the muscle (autocrine/paracrine) and is associated with beneficial epigenetic changes, improved cognitive function, improved mood, and improved memory (endocrine). Erickson has shown that the volume of the anterior hippocampus increased by 2% in response to aerobic training in a randomized controlled trial with 120 older adults.

Penderson linked physical inactivity with some chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular, dementia, depression) establishing the concept of “diseasome of physical inactivity”. This concept could be applied to delirium and cognitive impairment after critical care illness.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to give bibliographic, clinical and experimental support to this asseveration and to stimulate research in this new approach in view of those concepts.

Suggested contents for contributions could be, but are not limited to, the following:
1- Neurotrophic factors in health and disease
2- Mechanisms of cell death and survival
3- The muscle as a secretory organ
4- Brain derived neurotrophic factor
5- The diseasome of physical inactivity
6- Neuroprotective effects of physical activity on the brain
7- Protective effect of physical activity in Parkinson Disease, Alzheimer Disease and related dementias


Keywords: Myokines, neurotrophic factors, brain derived neurotrophic factor, cognition, exercise


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.

For half a century, researchers sought a link between muscle contraction and changes in peripheral organs in the form of an “exercise factor”. The cytokine IL‑6 was the first myokine, serendipitously discovered, found to be secreted into the bloodstream in response to muscle contractions. Myokines are produced, expressed, and released by muscle fibers; exert either autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine effects. Receptors for myokines are found on muscle, fat, liver, pancreas, bone, heart, immune, and brain cells. Among other functions they participate in tissue regeneration and repair, maintenance of healthy bodily functioning, immunomodulation; and cell signaling, expression and differentiation.

Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is released by muscle contraction and acts locally in fat oxidative metabolism inside the muscle (autocrine/paracrine) and is associated with beneficial epigenetic changes, improved cognitive function, improved mood, and improved memory (endocrine). Erickson has shown that the volume of the anterior hippocampus increased by 2% in response to aerobic training in a randomized controlled trial with 120 older adults.

Penderson linked physical inactivity with some chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular, dementia, depression) establishing the concept of “diseasome of physical inactivity”. This concept could be applied to delirium and cognitive impairment after critical care illness.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to give bibliographic, clinical and experimental support to this asseveration and to stimulate research in this new approach in view of those concepts.

Suggested contents for contributions could be, but are not limited to, the following:
1- Neurotrophic factors in health and disease
2- Mechanisms of cell death and survival
3- The muscle as a secretory organ
4- Brain derived neurotrophic factor
5- The diseasome of physical inactivity
6- Neuroprotective effects of physical activity on the brain
7- Protective effect of physical activity in Parkinson Disease, Alzheimer Disease and related dementias


Keywords: Myokines, neurotrophic factors, brain derived neurotrophic factor, cognition, exercise


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

22 December 2017 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

22 December 2017 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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