Exercise-induced skeletal muscle remodeling and metabolic adaptation: Redox signaling and role of autophagy

Elisabetta Ferraro, Anna Maria Giammarioli, Sergio Chiandotto, Ilaria Spoletini, Giuseppe Rosano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significance: Skeletal muscle is a highly plastic tissue. Exercise evokes signaling pathways that strongly modify myofiber metabolism and physiological and contractile properties of skeletal muscle. Regular physical activity is beneficial for health and is highly recommended for the prevention of several chronic conditions. In this review, we have focused our attention on the pathways that are known to mediate physical training-induced plasticity. Recent Advances: An important role for redox signaling has recently been proposed in exercise-mediated muscle remodeling and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) activation. Still more currently, autophagy has also been found to be involved in metabolic adaptation to exercise. Critical Issues: Both redox signaling and autophagy are processes with ambivalent effects; they can be detrimental and beneficial, depending on their delicate balance. As such, understanding their role in the chain of events induced by exercise and leading to skeletal muscle remodeling is a very complicated matter. Moreover, the study of the signaling induced by exercise is made even more difficult by the fact that exercise can be performed with several different modalities, with this having different repercussions on adaptation. Future Directions: Unraveling the complexity of the molecular signaling triggered by exercise on skeletal muscle is crucial in order to define the therapeutic potentiality of physical training and to identify new pharmacological compounds that are able to reproduce some beneficial effects of exercise. In evaluating the effect of new "exercise mimetics," it will also be necessary to take into account the involvement of reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, and autophagy and their controversial effects. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21, 154-176.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-176
Number of pages23
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)


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