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Signals From The Circle: Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle Intermediates As Myometabokines

Jennifer Maurer, Miriam Hoene, Cora Weigert

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Regular physical activity is an effective strategy to prevent and ameliorate aging-associated diseases. In particular, training increases muscle performance and improves whole-body metabolism. Since exercise affects the whole organism, it has countless health benefits. The systemic effects of exercise can, in part, be explained by communication between the contracting skeletal muscle and other organs and cell types. While small proteins and peptides known as myokines are the most prominent candidates to mediate this tissue cross-talk, recent investigations have paid increasing attention to metabolites. The purpose of this review is to highlight the potential role of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) metabolites as humoral mediators of exercise adaptation processes. We focus on TCA metabolites that are released from human skeletal muscle in response to exercise and provide an overview of their potential auto-, para- or endocrine health-promoting effects.