16 APS exercise research highlights, from reduced flu mortality to proteomics & obesity


Keynote speaker Bengt Saltin bridges latest research, historic U.S.-European physiology, mentoring at APS exercise meeting, Oct. 6-9

BETHESDA, Md. (Sept. 28, 2004) – Bengt Saltin, keynote speaker at the 2004 APS Intersociety exercise meeting in Austin, Texas Oct. 6-9, weaves together a lifetime of learning and research experience that bridges the 1920 Nobel Prize for Physiology, the 1935 High Altitude Expedition to Chile, and the latest in international exercise physiology.

Dr. Saltin, director of the Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, will draw on his early medical training with Erik Hohwu Christensen, a pupil of 1920 Nobel Prize in Physiology August Krogh who won for his work on increased muscle activity and oxygen diffusion. Christensen would later become famous for his work on the International High Altitude Expedition to Chile where he and his coauthors "fully confirmed...the opinion of Krogh, Barcroft and others that diffusion can account for the transfer of oxygen in the lung…."

Completing the circle, Saltin and several collaborators published an article on altitude effects on oxygen consumption in the September 2004 issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. (See below for references.) Saltin will discuss how Krogh and Christensen "conceived and formed the field of human integrative physiology using exercise as a key intervention," how American and European approaches to exercise physiology bifurcated, and where this type of physiology might be leading.

Among his many honors, Bengt Saltin received the International Organizing Committee 2002 Olympic Prize, which is underwritten by Pfizer Inc. In 1990 Saltin received the Honor Award from the American College of Sports Medicine, which honored Erik Hohwu-Christensen with the same award in 1981.

Editors note: Saltin is speaking at the American Physiological Society's 2004 Intersociety Meeting, "The Integrative Biology of Exercise," Oct. 6-9 in Austin. Information about the meeting can be found at (http://www.the-aps.org/meetings/aps/austin/).

A detailed program, including abstracts, for the entire meeting is available upon request to members of the media.

Arrangements for on-site interviews, or telephone interviews during the meeting can be arranged through APS from Mayer Resnick (cell: 301-332-4402, [email protected]) or Stacy Brooks 301-634-7253 ([email protected]). From Oct. 5-9, the onsite phone number in Austin is 512-482-8000, room 602.

The meeting is cosponsored by APS, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Additional support through unrestricted educational grants came from: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMSD), Gatorade Sports Sciences Institute, Pfizer Inc. and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM).

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Summaries of 16 selected presentations at the Austin exercise meeting Oct. 6-9, 2004.

Ronald L. Terjung, chair of the meeting organizing committee and professor in the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia, College of Veterinary Medicine, noted that in addition to the 12 symposia of invited speakers, ample time each day has been set aside for discussing the over 380 presentations with the authors.

Below are summaries of a few of the top presentations, with their program references.

Charles H. Turner (Indiana University, Indianapolis)
Mechanisms for increasing bone mass by exercise.
Mechanical loading through exercise builds bond mass, with the effects most pronounced during skeletal growth and development; rest periods reduce the effect of desensitization though it's unclear how this process is effected.

David Proctor and Dennis Koch (Pennsylvania State University, University Park)
Influence of aging on skeletal muscle blood flow in healthy humans.
Active leg sympathetic vasoconstrictor responsiveness appears to be greater in older men during exercise.

Adrienne Visocchi, et al. (McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)
The effect of isometric arm or leg exercise on resting blood pressure and arterial distensibility in persons medicated for hypertension.
Isometric handgrip (IHG) exercise seems to significantly reduce systolic blood pressure and carotid arterial distensibility.

Cheri L.M. McGowan, et al. (McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)
IHG training improves blood pressure and endothelial function in persons medicated for hypertension.
Reduced reactive hyperemic flow, accompanied by improvements in normalized flow mediated dilation suggests a heightened vasoactive sensitivity to the reactive hyperemic stimulus, implicating it as a mechanism for improved cardiovascular function.

Thomas J. Hawke (York University, Toronto, Canada)
Molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle regeneration.
Completion of the Human Genome Project and advent of microarray and proteomics technologies should facilitate an expanded analysis of the complex processes that regulate the myogenic progenitor cell and characterize the discrete stages of the muscle repair process.

Natasha Frank, et al. (Children's Hospital Boston, Mass.)
Expression of early developmental genes by human fetal skeletal muscle side population cells.
Early developmental mechanisms may be preserved in later stages of muscle cell commitment and differentiation and are likely to be involved in maintaining muscle side population cells in an undifferentiated state and available on demand for muscle regeneration.

Bente Klarlund Pedersen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
The biological role of the myokine IL-6. Muscle-derived IL-6 fulfils the criteria of an overriding exercise factor and such classes of cytokines should be renamed "myokines."

Steven E. Black, et al. (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Improved insulin action following short-term exercise training: effects of exercise or energy balance?
Study suggests that subtle changes in energy balance that precede measurable fat loss play a key role in mediating the beneficial effects of exercise on whole-body insulin action.

Elizabeth Mitchell, et al. (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Effects of short-term exercise in negative or zero energy balance on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. CVD risk factors trended down in overweight, sedentary people after exercise with negative energy controls.

Arnt Erik Tjonna, et al. (Norwegian Univ. of Science & Technology, Trondheim)
Maximal strength training improves work economy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Substantial improved rate of force development indicates that strength training with emphasis on maximal mobilization in the concentric part of a leg press device improves work economy in COPD patients.

Stan L. Lindstedt, et al. (Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff)
Design of muscle for function as a spring.
Titin may function as a major component in the vertebrate muscle spring and the "spring properties" of muscle can be exploited clinically.

Rainer P. Hambrecht (Heart Center, Leipzig, Germany) Effects of exercise training on vascular function and myocardial perfusion.
Since the degree of coronary endothelial dysfunction has been identified as a predictor of cardiac events, exercise may contribute to long-term reduction of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Jeff Woods and Tom Lowder (University of Illinois, Urbana)
Protective effect of exercise on mortality due to influenza in mice.
Moderate exercise for four consecutive days post-infection significantly increased survivability to influenza infection.

Ronald N. Cortright, et al. (East Carolina University, Greenville, SC)
African-American women have increased rates of fat oxidation after 10 days of endurance exercise training (EET).
Since 10 days of EET increases skeletal muscle fatty acid oxidation similarly in African-American and Caucasian women, EET should work as a treatment against obesity and diabetes for both.

L. Lawrenson, et al. (University of California at San Diego)
COPD patients reveal attenuated muscle plasticity following isolated quadriceps training.
Findings support the restoration of skeletal muscle power and metabolic capacity in COPD patients towards sedentary control levels, yet even during isolated small muscle mass exercise, provide evidence of attenuated muscle plasticity associated with COPD.

Dustin Hittel, et al. (Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.)
Using genomic and proteomic techniques to investigate exercise adaptation in untrained and overweight men and women.
Comparative mRNA and proteomic profiling provides unique insight into underlying metabolic crisis in chronically untrained muscle and clues as to how exercise reverses these effects.

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