We used cDNA microarrays to screen for differentially expressed genes during recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in humans. Male subjects ( n = 4) performed 300 maximal eccentric contractions, and skeletal muscle biopsy samples were analyzed at 3 h and 48 h after exercise. In total, 113 genes increased 3 h postexercise, and 34 decreased. At 48 h postexercise, 59 genes increased and 29 decreased. On the basis of these data, we chose 19 gene changes and conducted secondary analyses using real-time RT-PCR from muscle biopsy samples taken from 11 additional subjects who performed an identical bout of exercise. Real-time RT-PCR analyses confirmed that exercise-induced muscle damage led to a rapid (3 h) increase in sterol response element binding protein 2 ( SREBP-2), followed by a delayed (48 h) increase in the SREBP-2 gene targets Acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase ( ACAT)-2 and insulin-induced gene 1 ( insig-1). The expression of the IL-1 receptor, a known regulator of SREBP-2, was also elevated after exercise. Taken together, these expression changes suggest a transcriptional program for increasing cholesterol and lipid synthesis and/or modification. Additionally, damaging exercise induced the expression of protein kinase H11, capping protein Z alpha ( capZα), and modulatory calcineurin-interacting protein 1 ( MCIP1), as well as cardiac ankryin repeat protein 1 ( CARP1), DNAJB2, c-myc, and junD, each of which are likely involved in skeletal muscle growth, remodeling, and stress management. In summary, using DNA microarrays and RT-PCR, we have identified novel genes that respond to skeletal muscle damage, which, given the known biological functions, are likely involved in recovery from and/or adaptation to damaging exercise.