A team led by researchers at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institutehas isolated a natural hormone from muscle cells that triggers some of the key health benefits of exercise. They say the protein, which serves as a chemical messenger, is a highly promising candidate for development as a novel treatment for diabetes, obesity, and perhaps other disorders, including cancer.
Bruce Spiegelman, a cell biologist at Dana-Farber, is senior author of the report, posted as an advance online publication by the journal Nature. The first author is Pontus Bostrom, a postdoctoral fellow in the Spiegelman lab.
“It’s exciting to find a natural substance connected to exercise that has such clear therapeutic potential,” said Bostrom.