Background: Metabolic syndrome is a syndrome of a variety of metabolic disorders. Exercise is beneficial to the human body. However, the association of NR5A2 and exercise with metabolic syndrome remains unclear.

Methods: Download the GSE10540 and GSE12385 from GEO database. Bioinformatics analysis was used to screen the hub molecular of the metabolic syndrome. Forty 3-week-old C57BL/6J male mice were used in this study. The mean body weight was (17.5 ± 2.1) g. After 10 days of adaptive feeding, they were randomly divided into 4 groups according to the random number table method: Model + Exercise (n = 10), Model (n = 10), Model/NR5A2-OE (n = 10), Model/NR5A2-KO (n = 10). Western Blotting was performed to detect the expression of hub genes and signaling pathway.

Results: There were 349 DEGs in GSE10540 and 49 DEGs in GSE12385. 10 core genes were obtained. GO showed that differentially expressed genes were mainly enriched in vascular morphogenesis, contractile fiber fraction, chemotaxis, and MAPK cascade regulation. KEGG showed that MAPK signaling pathway was a significant section in the metabolic syndrome. PIK3R2, STRA8, FLT1, DMRT1, FGF22, NR5A2, and FLT were up-regulated and PRDM14, POU5F1, and KDR were down-regulated in metabolic syndrome after exercise.

Conclusion: The expression of NR5A2 is down-regulated in metabolic syndrome, and exercise can increase the expression level of NR5A2. NR5A2 might be used as a potential target for exercise to improve metabolic syndrome.