Exercise dose affects the circulating microRNA profile in response to acute endurance exercise in male amateur runners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Manuel Fernández-Sanjurjo
  • Natalia Úbeda
  • Benjamín Fernández-García
  • Miguel Del Valle
  • Ana Ramírez de Molina
  • M Carmen Crespo
  • Roberto Martin-Hernández
  • Patricia Casas-Agustench
  • Pablo Martínez-Camblor
  • David de Gonzalo-Calvo
  • Sergio Díez-Robles
  • Angela Garcia-Gonzalez
  • Ana Montero
  • Felipe González-González
  • Manuel Rabadán
  • Ángel Enrique Díaz-Martínez
  • Eduardo Iglesias-Gutiérrez
  • Alberto Dávalos

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Oviedo
  • CEU San Pablo University
  • Health Research Institute of the Principality of Asturias (ISPA)
  • IMDEA Food Institute
  • Dartmouth College
  • Carlos III Health Institute Center for Biomedical Research on Rare Diseases
  • University of Ioannina


The systemic response to exercise is dose-dependent and involves a complex gene expression regulation and cross-talk between tissues. This context ARISES the need for analyzing the influence of exercise dose on the profile of circulating microRNAs (c-miRNAs), as emerging posttranscriptional regulators and intercellular communicators. Thus, we hypothesized that different exercise doses will determine specific c-miRNA signatures that will highlight its potential as exercise dose biomarker. Nine active middle-aged males completed a 10-km race (10K), a half-marathon (HM), and a marathon (M). Blood samples were collected immediately before and after races. Plasma RNA was extracted, and a global screening of 752 microRNAs was analyzed using RT-qPCR. Three different c-miRNA profiles were defined according to the three doses. In 10K, 14 c-miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed between pre- and post-exercise, 13 upregulated and 1 downregulated. Regarding HM, 13 c-miRNAs were found to be differentially modulated, in all the cases upregulated. A total of 28 c-miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed in M, 21 overexpressed and 7 repressed after this race. We had also found 3 common c-miRNAs between 10K and M and 2 common c-miRNAs between 10K and HM. In silico analysis supported a close association between exercise dose c-miRNA profiles and cellular pathways linked to energy metabolism and cell cycle. In conclusion, we have observed that different exercise doses induced specific c-miRNA profiles. So, our results point to c-miRNAs as emerging exercise dose biomarkers and as one of regulatory mechanisms modulating the response to endurance exercise.

Bibliographic note

© 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1896-1907
Number of pages12
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number10
Early online date1 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • circulating microRNAs, endurance exercise, exercise biomarkers, exercise dose