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Molecular Mediators of Exercise: Cross-Organ Communication Promoting Health and Combating Disease

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 138

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Department of Biomechanics and Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-008 Cracow, Poland
Interests: inflammatory bowel diseases; colitis; intestinal permeability; leaky gut; intestinal alkaline phosphatase; physical exercise; muscle fat crosstalk; myokines; adipokines
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-531 Cracow, Poland
Interests: brain–gut axis; experimental colitis; intestinal permeability; inflammatory bowel diseases; proinflammatory cytokines; adipokines; myokines; lipopolysaccharide; microbiota; obesity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical exercise exerts a profound impact on health and disease. The direct benefits of activity are often associated with improved cardiovascular function and muscle adaptation. However, it also triggers a series of signaling pathways that produce bioactive molecules from different organs in the body, contributing to health benefits. For instance, these molecules, currently known as ‘myokines’, are secretory products of the working muscle that have recently attracted significant attention from basic scientists and clinical practitioners. Myokines, including proteins, miRNAs, and exosomes, are intricately regulated by muscle contraction through mechanical transduction pathways. In particular, individual striated myocytes are involved in paracrine and endocrine communication, not only with each other but also with a wide range of organs and tissues, including adipose tissue, the immune system, the liver, the pancreas, bones, and the brain. Although the term ‘myokine’ traditionally refers to muscle-derived factors, recent research has expanded this perspective. Adipose tissue (adipokines) and liver (hepatokines) also release circulating factors in response to exercise, collectively called ‘exerkines’. These exercise-responsive factors paint a vibrant picture of interorgan communication and coordinated responses to physical activity.

Exerkines are key mediators of exercise-induced adaptations and health benefits. They act through a variety of communication channels and pathways, including paracrine, endocrine (hormonal), and even autocrine, facilitating complex crosstalk between different cells, tissues, and organs. Exerkines encompass cytokines, nucleic acids (miRNAs, mRNAs, and mitochondrial DNA), lipids, and metabolites, often encapsulated within extracellular vesicles.

Understanding the role of these molecules in tissue communication holds promise for treating disorders associated with metabolic diseases and other systems, including the cardiovascular, pulmonary, digestive, nervous, and reproductive systems. This Special Issue aims to highlight this approach by publishing experimental data and reviews addressing these aspects in various experimental and clinical settings. We welcome the submission of topics related to the impact of exercise on disease and health in experimental and clinical studies, with particular emphasis on physiological mediators, intracellular pathways, and pharmacological agents constituting a background for the pharmacotherapy of various disorders.

Prof. Dr. Jan Bilski
Prof. Dr. Tomasz Brzozowski
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • exercise physiology
  • adipokines
  • myokines
  • hepatokines
  • inter-organ communication
  • inflammation
  • insulin sensitivity
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes
  • gastrointestinal system
  • cardiovascular system
  • sarcopenia
  • aging
  • osteogenic regulation
  • neurological health
  • nutraceuticals

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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