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Exercise Versus Accelerated Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Researchers demonstrate that exercise can counter some of the effects of an engineered acceleration of mitochondrial dysfunction: "researchers [found] that signs of premature aging were halted - and even reversed - in virtually every tissue and organ in the bodies of exercised mice. Mice genetically altered to age faster were forced to run on treadmills for 45 minutes, three times a week. Five months later, the mice looked as young, healthy and active as wild-type mice - mice that didn't have the genetic mutation - while their sedentary and same-aged siblings were balding, greying and shrinking. .. The mice were genetically manipulated to age twice as fast as normal because of a defect in the repair system of their mitochondria, the powerhouses or furnaces inside each cell that give our body energy. Evidence has been mounting for decades that the older we get, the more mutations we accumulate in mitochondrial DNA. The furnaces start to break down, resulting in a steady decline in tissue and organ function. ... In our study, we saw huge recovery in mitochondrial function [in] the exercised mice." We might expect this result, given that exercise is known to have an impact on longevity, as well as on many of the biological mechanisms that are associated with aging. Given the importance of mitochondria in aging, it is interesting to see more work on the links between exercise and their function - but we must always be careful when evaluating work based on engineered dysfunction or accelerated aging. It is often the case that the putative end result has little relevance to "normal" aging.

Link: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/health/4321105/story.html

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