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“Exerkines”, A New Tool For Tracking Healthy Changes Induced By Exercise

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A recent article in Neuroscience News covers a Stanford study [1] on cell secretions during exercise. These were previously known about but it was not possible to isolate them from the blood for study. The Stanford group came up with a novel way to dive deeper into the blood to isolate these molecules, called exerkines.

The study was on mice and had some surprising results. One was the high number of exerkines produced during exercise. “This means that the effects of physical activity are very widespread across many tissues and organ systems,” one of the co-authors of the study said. “We’re only just starting to understand that complexity.” A second surprise was some unexpected healthy changes (anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, and exercise performance-enhancing) related to liver cells.

This new approach is promising and I’m interested in seeing it repeated in humans.


Wei, W, et al, “Organism-wide, cell-type-specific secretome mapping of exercise training in mice”, Cell Metabolism, 2023.

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