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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000286
Basic Sciences

Irisin Does Not Mediate Resistance Training–Induced Alterations in Resting Metabolic Rate

SCHARHAG-ROSENBERGER, FRIEDERIKE1,2,3; MEYER, TIM3; WEGMANN, MELISSA3; RUPPENTHAL, SANDRA4; KAESTNER, LARS4; MORSCH, ARNE2; HECKSTEDEN, ANNE3

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Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the effects of a 6-month preventive resistance training program on resting metabolic rate (RMR) and its associations with fat-free mass (FFM) and the newly described myokine irisin as two potential mechanistic links between exercise training and RMR.

Methods: In a randomized controlled trial, 74 sedentary healthy male and female participants either completed 6 months of high-repetition resistance training 3 d·wk−1 in accordance with the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations (RT: n = 37; 47 ± 7 yr; body mass index, 25.0 ± 3.4 kg·m−2) or served as controls (CO: n = 37; 50 ± 7 yr; body mass index, 24.2 ± 3.2 kg·m−2). Strength (one-repetition maximum), RMR (indirect calorimetry), body fat (caliper method), and serum irisin concentration (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) were measured before and after 6 months of training.

Results: Training led to an increase in strength (one-repetition maximum leg press, 16% ± 7%; P < 0.001). RMR increased in RT (1671 ± 356 vs 1843 ± 385 kcal·d−1, P < 0.001) but not in CO (1587 ± 285 vs 1602 ± 294 kcal·d−1, P = 0.97; group–time interaction, P < 0.01). Body weight (RT, −0.5 ± 2.4 kg; CO, 0.1 ± 2.3 kg), body fat percentage (RT, −1.1% ± 2.5%; CO, −0.7% ± 2.9%), and FFM (RT, 0.4 ± 2.1 kg; CO, 0.6 ± 1.9 kg) did not develop differently between groups (group–time interaction: P = 0.29, P = 0.54, and P = 0.59, respectively). Serum irisin concentration increased in CO (70.8 ± 83.4 ng·mL−1, P < 0.001) but not in RT (22.4 ± 92.6 ng·mL−1, P = 0.67; group–time interaction, P < 0.01). The change in RMR was not associated with the change in FFM (r = −0.11, P = 0.36) or irisin (r = −0.004, P = 0.97).

Conclusions: Preventive resistance training elicits an increase in RMR. However, in contrast to currently discussed hypotheses, this increase does not seem to be mediated by training-induced changes in FFM or circulating irisin concentration, which casts doubt in the meaning of irisin for human energy balance.

© 2014 American College of Sports Medicine

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