Swimming fights obesity via adipocyte browning, caused by increased levels of irisin, PGC1a and AMPK

  • Swimming intervention mitigates HFD-induced obesity of rats through PGC-1α-irisin pathway.
  • Yang XQ1, Yuan H, Li J, Fan JJ, Jia SH, Kou XJ, Chen N.
  • Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Irisin, a newly discovered myokine, can drive the browning of white adipocytes to control body weight or mitigate obesity progression through regulating energy metabolism. However, the underlying mechanisms or specific signal pathways of exercise-induced irisin on the management of obesity are still unclear. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Totally 30 rats were subjected to high fat diet (HFD) feeding for 8 weeks to establish the rat model with obesity successfully. HFD-induced obese model rats were provided with 8 weeks swimming intervention at moderate intensity for exploring the treatment of obesity through exercise intervention. In addition, another 15 rats were subjected to HFD feeding coupled with total 16 weeks swimming intervention at a moderate intensity from the beginning of the experiment, which was used for exploring the prevention of obesity through exercise intervention. Blood and gastrocnemius samples were harvested from obese rats after swimming intervention to explore its specific signal pathways through ELISA analysis and Western blotting. RESULTS: HFD feeding of rats for 8 weeks could lead to the obesity due to the disorders of lipid metabolism. Totally 8 weeks swimming intervention at moderate intensity for rats with obesity could obviously alleviate the progression of obesity and 16 weeks swimming intervention from the beginning of the experiment could significantly inhibit the development of obesity. Meanwhile, swimming intervention could result in an increased phosphorylation of AMPK and up-regulation of irisin and PGC-1α as the biomarkers of energy metabolism. CONCLUSION: Exercise intervention can activate PGC-1α-dependent irisin to induce the browning of white adipocytes, thus inhibiting or alleviating the occurrence and development of obesity.