A gene related to physical inactivity in mice has been discovered by researchers at the University of Missuori. This discovery could be useful to develop new methods to counteract sedentary behavior even in humans.
As is well known, regular physical activity is essential for a good level of health and sedentariness is one of the main characteristics that can trigger certain diseases. It is not the first research to show that genes can play a role in physical inactivity but no particular gene has ever been identified.
Frank Booth, a professor at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, was able to discover, together with colleagues, the Alpha gene inhibitor of protein kinase, a genus that according to the same researchers “plays a significant role” in the context of physical inactivity.
Experiments have been carried out on several dozen mice. Over the past 10 years, the researcher has selected cats by dividing them into those that ran more or ran less on wheels. After obtaining a sufficient level of selection between active and “lazy” mice, the researcher checked for any differences in their genetic composition and found that the Alpha protein kinase inhibitor gene was much less present in lazy rats.
Most likely there are other genes involved but these results may pave the way for future research to identify all genes involved in physical inactivity in humans as well. Once identified, therapies could be developed to prevent the occurrence of diseases even before they develop.