AKC Seminar: The roles of myokines in exercise as medicine – a translational perspective

August Krogh Club Seminar

Professor Bente Klarlund Pedersen, MD., PhD, 

TrygFondens Center for Aktiv Sundhed (Centre for Physical Activity Research), University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


29 March 2019

14:00-15:00: Seminar and discussion
15:00-16:00: Post seminar servings and socializing


Skeletal muscle works as a secretory organ with the capacity to produce hundreds of myokines. This finding provides a conceptual basis for understanding how muscles communicate with other organs such as adipose tissue, liver, pancreas, bones, and brain. Recent advances suggest that myokines play a role in role in tumor defense and that some myokines pass the blood-brain barrier to enhance BDNF and hence hippocampal neurogenesis and learning.

The prototype myokine IL-6 is produced by contracting muscles and secreted into the circulation. Recent advances in understanding the physiological and biological roles of IL-6 demonstrate that IL-6 contributes to the regulation of glucose homeostasis in humans by affecting gastric emptying. Moreover, IL-6 seems to play a central role in regulating visceral adipose tissue mass in humans. Finally, IL-6 plays a role in directing natural killer cells to the tumor site during exercise and thereby appears to be involved in mediating exercise-induced anti-cancer effects.


Pedersen BK. The Physiology of Optimizing Health with a Focus on Exercise as Medicine. Annual review of physiology. 2018;81:607-27.

Hojman P, Gehl J, Christensen JF, Pedersen BK. Molecular Mechanisms Linking Exercise to Cancer Prevention and Treatment. Cell Metab. 2018;27(1):10-21.

Pedersen BK. Physical activity and muscle–brain crosstalk. Nature Review Endocrinology. 2019; In press.

Wedell-Neergaard AS, Lang Lehrskov L, Christensen RH, Legaard GE, Dorph E, Larsen MK, et al. Exercise-Induced Changes in Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass Are Regulated by IL-6 Signaling: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Cell Metab. 2018;[Epub ahead of print].

Lang Lehrskov L, Lyngbaek MP, Soederlund L, Legaard GE, Ehses JA, Heywood SE, et al. Interleukin-6 Delays Gastric Emptying in Humans with Direct Effects on Glycemic Control. Cell Metab. 2018;27(6):1201-11.


Auditorium 1, August Krogh Building, Universitetsparken 13, DK-2100 Copenhagen


Participation is free, but please register here.

For PhD students

PhD students participating in August Krogh seminars receive 0,2 ECTS per seminar


Jonas Møller Kristensen, jmkristensen@nexs.ku.dk 

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