An investigation of acute exercise and FGF21.

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Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a molecule that freely circulates in the blood and helps to regulate metabolism. Interest in FGF21 stems from its ability to promote weight loss and ameliorate type II diabetes in animal models. Recent findings have shown that blood levels of FGF21 increase after a single bout of aerobic exercise. Neither the mechanism behind this post-exercise increase in FGF21 nor the potential downstream effects of this increase are known. Similarly, little is known about the effect of biological sex or other types of exercise on circulating levels of FGF21. This dissertation will investigate the effects of two different types of exercise – steady state aerobic and sprint interval – on blood levels of FGF21 in healthy males and females. Related to this aim, the dissertation will also investigate the relationship between potential upstream promoters of FGF21 production and circulating levels of FGF21 as well as the potential downstream effects that arise from a post-exercise increase in FGF21. A secondary aim is to investigate the relationship between baseline levels of FGF21 and physiological and lifestyle factors.

FGF21. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Sprint interval exercise. Metabolism. Exercise metabolism. Sex differences.