Endocrine Reviews, Volume 41, Issue 4, August 2020, Pages 594–609
Physical activity decreases the risk of a network of diseases, and exercise may be prescribed as medicine for lifestyle-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. During the past couple of decades, it has been apparent that skeletal muscle works as an endocrine organ, which can produce and secrete hundreds of myokines that exert their effects in either autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine manners. Recent advances show that skeletal muscle produces myokines in response to exercise, which allow for crosstalk between the muscle and other organs, including brain, adipose tissue, bone, liver, gut, pancreas, vascular bed, and skin, as well as communication within the muscle itself. Although only few myokines have been allocated to a specific function in humans, it has been identified that the biological roles of myokines include effects on, for example, cognition, lipid and glucose metabolism, browning of white fat, bone formation, endothelial cell function, hypertrophy, skin structure, and tumor growth. This suggests that myokines may be useful biomarkers for monitoring exercise prescription for people with, for example, cancer, diabetes, or neurodegenerative diseases.