What Is MoTrPAC? (2 minute video)
An audio-described version of this video is also available.
The MoTrPAC Consortium Summary
The Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) aims to uncover at the molecular level how exercise improves and preserves the health of the body’s tissues and organs. By tracking exercise’s impact on biological molecules and creating a molecular map, MoTrPAC will make exercise better understood by researchers and enable clinicians to make more specific recommendations when prescribing exercise to their patients.
To gather the considerable amount of data needed to develop a molecular map of exercise-related changes in the body, MoTrPAC consortium members are:
- recruiting a diverse array of adult and children volunteers to study at Clinical Sites
- performing rodent-exercise investigations at Preclinical Animal Study Sites
- identifying exercise-influenced biological molecules at Chemical Analysis sites
- coordinating efforts, storing samples, and compiling data in researcher-friendly formats at Consortium Coordinating sites
The MoTrPAC program issued its awards in December of 2016. During the first years of the program, the consortium organized the studies’ methods and other logistics to effectively achieve the overall goal of the program. This included the establishment of clinical standards, data standards, animal study protocols, a data portal for researchers, along with community outreach and recruitment materials and strategies. To date, the program has nearly performed the full suite of planned animal studies and collected tissues for analysis. MoTrPAC clinical sites are currently recruiting participants. Please visit MoTrPAC's site for the latest news and updates regarding the program.
Five interrelated components comprise the program’s Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC).
MoTrPAC investigators at six adult Clinical Centers are recruiting approximately 2300 healthy adults for an exercise study. They are collecting blood and tissue samples from active and sedentary volunteers who will perform resistance or aerobic exercises. These materials are shared with colleagues at MoTrPAC Chemical Analysis Sites, who extensively characterize a variety of molecules that change following exercise. These molecules may transmit the benefits of physical activity to organs and tissues that are not directly involved in movement.
Another Clinical Center is focusing on the molecular changes that occur when children and adolescents exercise. Scientists and clinicians increasingly recognize that physical activity is an essential component of health, growth, and development, and there are critical periods when exercise can lead to long-term improvements in health. When combined with data from the six Centers focusing on adults, the research conducted at the pediatric Clinical Center will show whether the molecules delivering health benefits differ between children and adults or during different stages of development.
Research teams at three Preclinical Animal Study Sites are exploring the functions, sources, and target tissues of molecules that appear to be linked to physical activity’s health benefits. The rat exercise models used for these studies will complement the Clinical Centers’ work by allowing investigators to analyze tissues and organs that cannot be easily studied in people. Scientists also will use animal and cell models to investigate the roles of molecules of interest once the molecules are isolated and identified.
The Phase 2 Animal Study Sites joined the initial sites in 2020. Using MoTrPAC data, these three sites are also exploring the functions, sources, and target tissues of molecules that appear to be linked to physical activity's health benefits.
Investigators at seven Chemical Analysis Sites are extensively analyzing the human and rodent samples using various genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic technologies. These cutting-edge tools, which allow for the rapid identification of many different biological molecules from large numbers of samples, will enable the characterization of a wide range of molecules that change following exercise and may mediate physical activity’s beneficial effects.
The Bioinformatics Center is responsible for establishing standards and protocols for data acquisition and storage, providing analytic tools for integrating and interrogating data generated through the Chemical Analysis Sites, and developing a user-friendly database that any researcher can access to develop hypotheses regarding the mechanisms whereby physical activity improves or preserves health.
The Consortium Coordinating Center manages study protocol development and implementation. It also coordinates the collection and distribution of data and biological samples during the project. It organizes, monitors, and supports the MoTrPAC Steering Committee and any subcommittees that the Steering Committee may establish to ensure that all aspects of the clinical and animal protocols and the analysis plans contribute to the mapping of molecular changes in response to exercise.
This page last reviewed on November 9, 2020