PGC-1α and exercise in the control of body weight

Biozentrum, Division of Pharmacology/Neurobiology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
International journal of obesity (2005) (Impact Factor: 5). 01/2012; 36(11). DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2012.12
Source: PubMed


The increasing prevalence of obesity and its comorbidities represents a major threat to human health globally. Pharmacological treatments exist to achieve weight loss, but the subsequent weight maintenance is prone to fail in the long run. Accordingly, efficient new strategies to persistently control body weight need to be elaborated. Exercise and dietary interventions constitute classical approaches to reduce and maintain body weight, yet people suffering from metabolic diseases are often unwilling or unable to move adequately. The administration of drugs that partially mimic exercise adaptation might circumvent this problem by easing and supporting physical activity. The thermogenic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) largely mediates the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to endurance exercise and is a potential target for such interventions. Here, we review the role of PGC-1α in mediating exercise adaptation, coordinating metabolic circuits and enhancing thermogenic capacity in skeletal muscle. We suggest a combination of elevated muscle PGC-1α and exercise as a modified approach for the efficient long-term control of body weight and the treatment of the metabolic syndrome.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 31 January 2012; doi:10.1038/ijo.2012.12.

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