Blind spot for sedentarism: Redefining the diseasome of physical inactivity in view of circadian system and the Irisin/BDNF axis

Judit Zsuga, Csaba E. More, Tamas Erdei, Csaba Papp, Szilvia Harsanyi, Rudolf Gesztelyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: The term "diseasome of physical inactivity" was coined by Pedersen to explain clustering of chronic diseases linked to physical inactivity. Accordingly, physical inactivity per se contributes to the accumulation of visceral fat, which, generates chronic low-grade systemic inflammation, contributes to emergence of chronic, noncommunicable diseases. Diversity of these disorders posits the possible involvement of a supraphysiological system. Methods: Hypothesis driven literature search and deductive reasoning was used to review relevant literature and formulate a novel theory. Results: We have identified the circadian system, omnipresent in virtually every cell, as a possible vehicle for brain muscle crosstalk, explaining some aspects of the diseasome of physical inactivity This system is hierarchically organized, with the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) being the master clock that entrains to the dark/light cycle and synchronizes subsidiary molecular clocks in the periphery. Insufficient photic entrainment also causes chronic disease evolution. The recently identified irisin, was shown to induce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production in several brain areas. BDNF assumes significant role in gating light's influence in the retinohypothalamic synapse, by having a permissive effect on glutamate signal transduction underlying photic entrainment. Conclusions: Here we provide theoretical evidence to support the hypothesis that irisin may facilitate photic entrainment of the SCN, via BDNF. By this irisin opens up possible pathways for peripheral nonphotic entrainment signals to exert influence on the master clock that is otherwise resistant to these. Furthermore, we suggest that intertwining processes of circadian, redox, inflammatory, and myokine systems lay underneath the diseasome of physical inactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number818
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberOCT
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018


  • BDNF
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Entrainment
  • Irisin
  • Physical inactivity
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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