Researchers have long recognized an epidemiological link between exercise and a lower risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer. But experimental evidence nailing down a molecular mechanism for this effect has been lacking. Now, Pernille Hojman of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark and colleagues have found a possible clue: epinephrine activation of the Hippo signaling pathway.
[T]he researchers found that blood drawn after exercise thwarted the growth of breast cancer cells in culture, compared with blood drawn before exercise. In addition, mice injected with breast cancer cells that had been exposed to post-exercise serum were less likely to develop tumors. But both of these effects were reduced if the researchers blocked epinephrine from binding to its receptor and activating a tumor-suppressor signaling pathway known as Hippo on the breast cancer cells.
“The results of this study show that moderate to high intensity exercise leads to an acute increase in levels of epinephrine, which can reduce breast cancer cell viability and tumor growth via activation of the Hippo signaling pathway,” Hojman says in a press release.
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