The Systemic Effects of Exercise on Regulators of Muscle and Bone in Girls and Women Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose: To assess the systemic effects of an acute bout of moderate-intensity exercise on factors that are known to regulate muscle and bone growth in prepubertal girls and women. Methods: A total of 12 prepubertal girls (8–10 y) and 12 women (20–30 y) cycled at 60% maximal oxygen uptake for 1 hour followed by 1 hour recovery. Blood samples were collected at rest, mid-exercise, end of exercise, mid-recovery, and end of recovery. Plasma was analyzed for interleukin-6, chemokine ligand 1, fibroblast growth factor-2, total insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and free IGF-1 using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays assays. Results: Both groups had similar concentrations of systemic factors at baseline with the exception of free IGF-1, which was higher in girls (P = .001). Interleukin-6 response was lower in girls versus women (P = .04), with a difference of +105.1% at end of exercise (P < .001), +113.5% at mid-recovery (P = .001), and +93.2% at end of recovery (P = .02). Girls and women exhibited significant declines in chemokine ligand 1, fibroblast growth factor-2, and total IGF-1 during recovery. Conclusion: Compared with women, an acute bout of moderate-intensity exercise in girls elicits a lower inflammatory response, suggesting that other mechanisms may be more important for driving the anabolic effects of exercise on muscle and bone in girls.


  • Mezil, Yasmeen
  • Obeid, J
  • Raha, Sandeep
  • Hawke, Thomas J
  • Timmons, Brian W

publication date

  • August 1, 2020