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Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I, Physical Activity, and Control of Cellular Anabolism

NINDL, BRADLEY C.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: January 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 1 - p 35-38
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181b07c39
BASIC SCIENCES: Symposium

The underlying mechanisms responsible for mediating the beneficial outcomes of exercise undoubtedly are many, but the insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) system is emerging as an important and central hormonal axis that plays a significant role concerning cellular anabolism. This introductory article summarizes the intent and the content for papers presented as part of a 2008 American College of Sports Medicine national symposium entitled "Insulin-like Growth Factor-I, Physical Activity, and Control of Cellular Anabolism." The individual authors and their papers are as follows: Jan Frystyk authoring "The relationship between exercise and the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I axis," Greg Adams authoring "IGF-I signaling in skeletal muscle and the potential for cytokine interactions," and Brad Nindl authoring "Insulin-like growth factor-I as a biomarker of health, fitness, and training status." These papers focus on 1) different assay methodologies for IGF-I within the paradigm of exercise studies, 2) research demonstrating that intracellular signaling components associated with several proinflammatory cytokines have the potential to interact with anabolic signaling processes in skeletal muscle, and 3) an overview of IGF-I as a biomarker related to exercise training, muscle and bone remodeling, body composition, cognition, and cancer. When summed in total, the contribution that these papers will make will undoubtedly involve bringing attention to the vast regulatory complexity of the IGF-I system and will hopefully convince the reader that the IGF-I system warrants further detailed scientific inquiry to resolve many unanswered questions and paradoxical experimental findings. The IGF-I system remains one of the most intriguing and captivating marvels of human physiology that seems central in mediating numerous adaptations from physical activity.

Military Performance Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA

Address for correspondence: Bradley C. Nindl, Ph.D., FACSM, Military Performance Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760; E-mail: bradley.nindl@na.amedd.army.mil.

Submitted for publication December 2008.

Accepted for publication May 2009.

©2010The American College of Sports Medicine