Feeding influences adipose tissue responses to exercise in overweight men

Yung Chih Chen, Rebecca L. Travers, Jean Philippe Walhin, Javier T. Gonzalez, Francoise Koumanov, James A. Betts, Dylan Thompson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Feeding profoundly affects metabolic responses to exercise in various tissues, but the effect of feeding status on human adipose tissue responses to exercise has never been studied. Ten healthy overweight men aged 26 ± 5 yr (mean ± SD) with a waist circumference of 105 ± 10 cm walked at 60% of maximum oxygen uptake under either fasted or fed conditions in a randomized, counterbalanced design. Feeding comprised 648 ± 115 kcal 2 h before exercise. Blood samples were collected at regular intervals to examine changes in metabolic parameters and adipokine concentrations. Adipose tissue samples were obtained at baseline and 1 h after exercise to examine changes in adipose tissue mRNA expression and secretion of selected adipokines ex vivo. Adipose tissue mRNA expression of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isozyme 4 (PDK4), adipose triglyceride lipase, hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), fatty acid translocase/CD36, glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4), and insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) in response to exercise were lower in fed compared with fasted conditions (all P ≤ 0.05). Postexercise adipose IRS2 protein was affected by feeding (P ≤ 0.05), but Akt2, AMPK, IRS1, GLUT4, PDK4, and HSL protein levels were not different. Feeding status did not impact serum and ex vivo adipose secretion of IL-6, leptin, or adiponectin in response to exercise. This is the first study to show that feeding before acute exercise affects postexercise adipose tissue gene expression, and we propose that feeding is likely to blunt long-term adipose tissue adaptation to regular exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E84-E93
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 7
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipose tissue
  • Exercise
  • Feeding
  • Postprandial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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