To better understand the health benefits of lifelong exercise in humans, we conduct global skeletal muscle transcriptomic analyses of long-term endurance- (9 men, 9 women) and strength-trained (7 men) humans compared with age-matched untrained controls (7 men, 8 women). Transcriptomic analysis, Gene Ontology, and genome-scale metabolic modeling demonstrate changes in pathways related to the prevention of metabolic diseases, particularly with endurance training. Our data also show prominent sex differences between controls and that these differences are reduced with endurance training. Additionally, we compare our data with studies examining muscle gene expression before and after a months-long training period in individuals with metabolic diseases. This analysis reveals that training shifts gene expression in individuals with impaired metabolism to become more similar to our endurance-trained group. Overall, our data provide an extensive examination of the accumulated transcriptional changes that occur with decades-long training and identify important "exercise-responsive" genes that could attenuate metabolic disease.
Keywords: RNA sequencing; endurance training; exercise physiology; gene expression; genome-scale metabolic model; human subjects; resistance training; skeletal muscle; skeletal muscle metabolism; skeletal muscle transcriptomics.
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