About Erik Richter

Physical activity is a major component of a healthy lifestyle and potentially the only “medicine” that positively affects most aspects of health and prevents disease with a minimum of side effects. A fascinating question is: What are the molecular mechanisms that are triggered by exercise and that positively affect health? For instance, in insulin resistant states, glucose uptake in muscle is impaired. However, contraction-induced glucose uptake is normal in insulin resistance.

Therefore, the molecular signaling that is activated by physical activity in muscle is an interesting alternative to the insulin signaling pathway. Recently we have identified the GTPase Rac1 as an important molecule involved in contraction-induced glucose uptake. Another interesting aspect of physical activity is increased insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity following exercise is the result of a complex interaction between insulin signaling in muscle and muscle perfusion which will be discussed.