Time of exercise differentially impacts bone growth in mice

Shaoling Yu, Qingming Tang, Xiaofeng Lu, Guangjin Chen, Mengru Xie, Jingxi Yang, Ying Yin, Wenhao Zheng, Jinyu Wang, Yunyun Han, Luoying Zhang, Lili Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although physical training has been shown to improve bone mass, the time of day to exercise for optimal bone growth remains uncertain. Here we show that engaging in physical activity during the early active phase, as opposed to the subsequent active or rest phase, results in a more substantial increase in bone length of male and female mice. Transcriptomic and metabolomic methodologies identify that exercise during the early active phase significantly upregulates genes associated with bone development and metabolism. Notably, oxidative phosphorylation-related genes show a rhythmic expression in the chondrification centre, with a peak at the early active phase, when more rhythmic genes in bone metabolism are expressed and bone growth is synergistically promoted by affecting oxidative phosphorylation, which is confirmed by subsequent pharmacological investigations. Finally, we construct a signalling network to predict the impact of exercise on bone growth. Collectively, our research sheds light on the intricacies of human exercise physiology, offering valuable implications for interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Metabolism
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


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