Call To Rename Class Of Muscle-Derived IL-6 As “Myokines”
For the most of the past century, researchers have searched for a muscle-contraction-induced factor, which mediates some of the exercise effects in other tissues and organs such as the liver and adipose tissue. In their quest for this magic trigger, or class of effectors, it’s been referred to as the “work stimulus,” “work factor” or the “exercise factor.”
Bente Karlund Pedersen, professor of internal medicine at Rigshospitalet and leader of the Muscle Center at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and her team are part of that search. They found a cytokine, Interleukin-6, which is produced by contracting muscles and released into the blood, and demonstrated that IL-6 has many biologic roles, including:
In fact, Pedersen says the wide impact of muscle-derived IL-6 not only fulfills all the criteria for this “exercise factor” but that such classes of cytokines should be reclassified as “myokines.” She points out that because of its diverse effects, IL-6 has potential as a therapeutic drug in treating such metabolic disorders as obesity, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Mayer Resnick | EurekAlert!
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