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2022, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (35): 5733-5740

Telomeres and telomerase: mechanism of exercise retarding aging telomeres

Yang Ling1, Huang Sen2   

  1. 1School of Physical Education, Shaoguan University, Shaoguan 512000, Guangdong Province, China; 2Hunan Institute of Sports Science, Changsha 410008, Hunan Province, China

  • Received:2021-11-29 Accepted:2022-01-19 Online:2022-12-18 Published:2022-05-18

  • Contact: Huang Sen, PhD, Associate researcher, Hunan Institute of Sports Science, Changsha 410008, Hunan Province, China

  • About author:Yang Ling, PhD candidate, School of Physical Education, Shaoguan University, Shaoguan 512000, Guangdong Province, China

  • Supported by:

    2021 Humanities and Social Sciences Project of the Ministry of Education of China, No. 21YJAZH049 (to YL [project participant])


Abstract: BACKGROUND: Telomeres form special structures at the end of chromosomes in human cells, which have special functions and show a very close relationship with biological aging. Exercise can improve the activity of telomerases and protect the structure of telomeres, thus affecting human health. Shorter telomeres increase the incidence of diseases and decrease the survival rate. Therefore, telomeres are often considered as biological markers of cell aging and the “biological clock” that triggers aging.
OBJECTIVE: Based on the relationship between telomeres and aging, to summarize and analyze the effect of exercise on telomeres and telomerases and to explore the mechanism of telomerase retardation by exercise, so as to provide theoretical basis and reference for anti-aging and health promotion by exercises.
METHODS: We searched for relevant articles in CNKI, PubMed and Web of Science databases using the keywords of “telomeres, telomerase, exercise, senescence” in Chinese and English, and conducted preliminary screening of titles and abstracts according to inclusion criteria. After reading the full text, a total of 89 documents were included for further analysis.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Different exercises have different effects on telomeres. Exercise is positively correlated with telomere length, uncorrelated with telomere length, and has inverted U-shaped relationship with telemeter length. Exercise and telomerase activity are age-deviated. Suitable exercises can slow down the speed of telomere shortening, prevent the excessive consumption of telomeres, delay or prevent the occurrence of age-related diseases, and prolong life, but the mechanism has not been fully clarified.
Key words: exercise, chromosome, telomere, telomerase, senescence, chronic disease, mechanism, review


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