Profiling of circulating microRNAs after a bout of acute resistance exercise in humans

PLoS One. 2013 Jul 29;8(7):e70823. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070823. Print 2013.


Recent studies have revealed a new aspect of physiological regulation in which microRNAs (miRNAs) play fundamental roles in diverse biological and pathological processes. Furthermore, it was recently discovered that miRNAs are stably secreted into blood and that circulating miRNAs may play important roles in cell-cell communication. Here, we examined whether the circulating miRNA profile is affected by acute resistance exercise. Twelve males performed a resistance exercise session (bench press and leg press), consisting of five sets of 10 repetitions at 70% of maximum strength, with a 1 min rest between sets. Blood samples were taken before exercise, and at 0 and 60 min, 1 day, and 3 days after exercise. The circulating miRNA profile was determined by microarray analysis. Quantitative real-time PCR confirmed that the miR-149* level increased three days after resistance exercise. In contrast, the miR-146a and miR-221 levels decreased three days after resistance exercise. Our findings suggest that circulating miRNA levels change in response to acute resistance exercise, and miRNAs may play important roles in resistance-exercise-induced adaptation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs

Grant support

This study was supported in part by a Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research (A) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan (23240097 to K.S.), and by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences (to M.K.). M.K. was supported by a fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.