Exercise boosts health by influencing stem cells to become bone, not fat, researchers find

Sep 01, 2011

McMaster researchers have found one more reason to exercise: working out triggers influential stem cells to become bone instead of fat, improving overall health by boosting the body's capacity to make blood.

The body's mesenchymal stem cells are most likely to become fat or bone, depending on which path they follow.

Using treadmill-conditioned mice, a team led by the Department of Kinesiology's Gianni Parise has shown that triggers those cells to become bone more often than fat.

The exercising mice ran less than an hour, three times a week, enough time to have a significant impact on their blood production, says Parise, an associate professor.

In sedentary mice, the same stem cells were more likely to become fat, impairing blood production in the marrow cavities of bones.

The research appears in a new paper published by the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

"The interesting thing was that a modest exercise program was able to significantly increase in the marrow and in circulation," says Parise. "What we're suggesting is that exercise is a potent stimulus -- enough of a stimulus to actually trigger a switch in these ."

The composition of cells in the bone marrow cavity has an important influence on the productivity of blood stem cells.

In ideal conditions, blood stem cells create healthy blood that boosts the immune system, permits the efficient uptake of oxygen, and improves the ability to clot wounds.

improve the climate for blood stem cells to make blood.

But when start to fill the bone marrow cavity -- a common symptom of -- blood stem cells become less productive, and conditions such as anemia can result.

The findings add to the growing list of established benefits of exercise, Parise says, and suggest that novel non-medicinal treatments for blood-related disorders may be in the future.

"Some of the impact of exercise is comparable to what we see with pharmaceutical intervention," he says. "Exercise has the ability to impact stem cell biology. It has the ability to influence how they differentiate."

Explore further: Scientists find key to te first cell differentiation in mammals

Related Stories

Molecule dictates how stem cells travel

Jan 14, 2006

U.S. researchers have defined a molecule that dictates how blood stem cells travel to the bone marrow and establish blood and immune cell production.

Protein key to control, growth of blood cells

Aug 13, 2008

New research sheds light on the biological events by which stem cells in the bone marrow develop into the broad variety of cells that circulate in the blood. The findings may help improve the success of bone marrow transplants ...

Recommended for you

Research helps identify memory molecules

7 hours ago

A newly discovered method of identifying the creation of proteins in the body could lead to new insights into how learning and memories are impaired in Alzheimer's disease.

Computer simulations visualize ion flux

8 hours ago

Ion channels are involved in many physiological and pathophysiological processes throughout the human body. A young team of researchers led by pharmacologist Anna Stary-Weinzinger from the Department of Pharmacology ...

Neutron diffraction sheds light on photosynthesis

8 hours ago

Scientists from ILL and CEA-Grenoble have improved our understanding of the way plants evolved to take advantage of sunlight. Using cold neutron diffraction, they analysed the structure of thylakoid lipids found in plant ...

DNA may have had humble beginnings as nutrient carrier

Sep 01, 2014

New research intriguingly suggests that DNA, the genetic information carrier for humans and other complex life, might have had a rather humbler origin. In some microbes, a study shows, DNA pulls double duty ...

Central biobank for drug research

Sep 01, 2014

For the development of new drugs it is crucial to work with stem cells, as these allow scientists to study the effects of new active pharmaceutical ingredients. But it has always been difficult to derive ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

CapitalismPrevails
1 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2011
I think this deserves a "Duh..." response.
timcharper
not rated yet Sep 01, 2011
Fascinating insite on why people who don't exercise feel less like exercising.
aroc91
5 / 5 (4) Sep 01, 2011
I think this deserves a "Duh..." response.


I disagree. Of course we knew that a sedentary lifestyle results in more fat, given a calorie surplus and that exercise leads to osteogenesis, but I don't think anybody ever knew that it involved the selective differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.
sigfpe
not rated yet Sep 06, 2011
*insight*