Physical activity and muscle metabolism control

The post doctoral study of Maarit Lehti, Ph.D. is focused on exploring significance of main protein of sarcomere, titin, and proteins connected to it, on tissue metabolism regulation.

It is well known that physical activity has a beneficial effect on metabolism. Effects of exercise on function of muscle cell are mediated by signaling pathways. Sarcomere is the smallest unit of the contractile machinery and, as such, the center of action in every type of physical exercise. In biological systems, it is very common that key workers are also key regulators. However, very little is known about the contribution of sarcomere on the cell signaling.

Expected results will produce novel scientific information of skeletal muscle signaling mechanisms induced by muscle contractile activity as well as involvement of sarcomeric proteins in signaling processes. In addition, the results will give better understanding of molecular mechanisms behind beneficial effects of exercise and may lead to the development of new pharmacological targets for treatment of metabolic or muscle diseases.


Academy of Finland (2011-2013)
University of Cincinnati
Helmholz Zentrum München


Metabolic Diseases Institute, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati (USA)
Helmholz Zentrum München (Germany)
Department of Biology of Physical activity, University of Jyväskylä

Lehti Maarit

Researcher (on a leave of absence)



  • Maarit Lehti; Elizabeth Donelan; William Abplanalp; Omar Al-Massadi; Kirk Habegger; Jon Weber; Chandler Ress; Johannes Mansfeld; Sonal Somvanshi; Chitrang Trivedi; Michaela Keuper; Teja Ograjsek; Cynthia Striese; Sebastian Cucuruz; Paul T. Pfluger; Radhakrishna Krishna; Scott M. Gordon; R.A. Gangani D. Silva; Serge Luquet; Julien Castel; Sarah Martinez; David D'Alessio; W. Sean Davidson; Susanna M. Hofmann. High-Density Lipoprotein Maintains Skeletal Muscle Function by Modulating Cellular Respiration in Mice. Circulation 10/2013; DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001551. Press Release.
  • Müller, T.D., Lee, S.J., Jastroch, M., Kabra, D., Stemmer, K., Aichler, M., Abplanalp, B., Ananthakrishnan, G., Bhardwaj, N., Collins, S., Dicanovic, S., Endele, M., Finan, B., Gao, Y., Habegger, K.M., Hembree, J., Heppler, K., Hofmann, S., Holland, J., Kutschke, M., Krishna, R., Lehti, M., Oelkrug, R., Ottaway, N., Perez-Tilve, D., Raver, C., Walch, A.K., Schriever, S.C., Speakman, J., Tseng, Y.-H., Diaz-Meco, M., Pflüger, P.T., Moscat, J. & Tschöp, M.H. (2013). p62 links beta‐adrenergic input with mitochondrial function. The Journal of Clinical Investigation 123(1), 469–478. 2012 Dec 21. [Epub ahead of print.] [IF 13.07]
  • Hulmi, J.J., Silvennoinen, M., Lehti, M., Kivelä, R. & Kainulainen, H. (2012). Altered REDD1, myostatin, and Akt/mTOR/FoxO/MAPK signaling in streptozotocin-induced diabetic muscle atrophy. American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism 302(3), E307–315. [IF 4.75]
  • Silvennoinen, M., Rinnankoski-Tuikka, R., Vuento, M., Hulmi, J. J., Torvinen, S., Lehti, M., Kivelä, R., Kainulainen, H. (2012). High-fat feeding induces angiogenesis in skeletal muscle and activates angiogenic pathways in capillaries. Angiogenesis. 2012 Oct 23. [Epub ahead of print.] [IF 6.06]
  • Rinnankoski-Tuikka, R., Silvennoinen, M., Torvinen, S., Hulmi, J. J., Lehti, M., Kivelä, R., Reunanen, H. & Kainulainen, H. (2012). Effects of high-fat diet and physical activity on pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-4 in mouse skeletal muscle. Nutrion & Metabolism 9 (1), 53. [IF 2.89]
  • Yi, C. X., Al-Massadi, O., Donelan, E., Lehti, M., Weber, J., Ress, C., Trivedi, C., Müller, T. D., Woods, S. C., Hofmann, S. M. 2012. Exercise protects against high-fat diet-induced hypothalamic inflammation. Physiology & Behavior 106(4), 485–490. [IF 2.87]