Eccentric exercise increases circulating fibroblast activation protein but not bioactive fibroblast growth factor 21 in healthy humans (Parmar, 2018)

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Eccentric exercise increases circulating fibroblast activation protein but not bioactive fibroblast growth factor 21 in healthy humans
Biraj Parmar, Jo E. Lewis, Ricardo J. Samms, Francis J. P. Ebling, Christine C. Cheng, Andrew C. Adams, Joanne Mallinson, Scott Cooper, Tariq Taylor, Reza Ghasemi, Francis B. Stephens, Kostas Tsintzas

The primary aim of the investigation was to determine whether eccentric exercise would augment the release of the myokine fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and/or its regulatory enzyme, fibroblast activation protein α (FAP), from skeletal muscle tissue into the systemic circulation of healthy human volunteers.

Physically active young healthy male volunteers (age 25.0 ± 10.7 years; body mass index 23.1 ± 7.9 kg m-2 ) completed three sets of 25 repetitions (with 5 min rest in between) of single-leg maximal eccentric contractions using their non-dominant leg, whilst the dominant leg served as a control. Arterialized blood samples from a hand vein and deep venous blood samples from the common femoral vein of the exercised leg, along with blood flow of the superficial femoral artery using Doppler ultrasound, were obtained before and after each exercise bout and every 20 min during the 3 h recovery period. Muscle biopsy samples were taken at baseline, immediately and 3 and 48 h postexercise.

The main findings showed that there was no significant increase in total or bioactive FGF21 secreted from skeletal muscle into the systemic circulation in response to exercise. Furthermore, skeletal muscle FGF21 protein content was unchanged in response to exercise. However, there was a significant increase in arterialized and venous FAP concentrations, with no apparent contribution to its release from the exercised leg. These findings raise the possibility that the elevated levels of FAP might play a role in the inactivation of FGF21 during exercise.

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