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Recently, contradictory reports were published concerning the association between the serum concentration of irisin and the physical activity level and fitness status in healthy humans. Irisin is a newly identified myokine that induces the ‘browning’ of white adipose tissue (WAT). Buscemi and colleagues studied a cohort of 858 healthy individuals in Palermo, Sicily, as a part of the ABCD (Alimentazione, Benessere Cardiovascolare e Diabete) study, and found a significant positive correlation between serum irisin concentration and habitual physical activity [1]. However, Binianinov and colleagues showed that serum irisin concentration was not related to any measures of short-term physical activity, habitual physical activity, or physical fitness in a cross-sectional analysis of 300 healthy humans who had participated in the Karlsruhe Metabolomics and Nutrition (KarMeN) study in Germany [2].


  • Masakazu Terauchi
    Department of Women’s Health, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan


  1. Buscemi S, Corleo D, Vasto S, et al. Factors associated with circulating concentrations of irisin in the general population cohort of the ABCD study. Int J Obes (Lond) 2017;42:398-404
  2. Biniaminov N, Bandt S, Roth A, Haertel S, Neumann R, Bub A. Irisin, physical activity and fitness status in healthy humans: no association under resting conditions in a cross-sectional study. PLoS One 2018; 13:e0189254
  3. Boström P, Wu J, Jedrychowski MP, et al. A PGC1-α-dependent myokine that drives brown-fat-like development of white fat and thermogenesis. Nature 2012;481:463-8
  4. Polyzos SA, Anastasilakis AD, Efstathiadou ZA, et al. Irisin in metabolic diseases. Endocrine 2018;59:260-74
  5. Lidell ME, Betz MJ, Enerbäck S. Brown adipose tissue and its therapeutic potential. J Intern Med 2014;276:364-77
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