Exercise training reduces inflammatory mediators in the intestinal tract of healthy older adult mice

Nicholas Packer, Laurie Hoffman-Goetz
Canadian Journal on Aging 2012, 31 (2): 161-71
Aging is associated with increased intestinal inflammation and elevated risk of chronic diseases including inflammatory bowel diseases and colon cancer; many epidemiologic studies show that regular exercise reduces risk. This study examined the effects of long-term voluntary exercise on inflammatory mediators expressed in the intestine of older (15-16 months), healthy C57BL/6 mice. Animals were assigned to four months of freewheel running (WR; n = 20) or to a "sedentary" no wheel running (NWR; n = 20) control group. Intestinal lymphocytes were harvested and analysed for expression of (1) pro-inflammatory (TNF-α, IL-1β) and pleiotropic (IL-6) cytokines, and (2) pro-(caspase-3/-7) and anti-(Bcl-2) apoptotic proteins. Training was confirmed by skeletal muscle enzyme activity; stress was assessed by plasma 8-iso-PGF(2α) and corticosterone. The WR mice had a lower expression of TNF-α, caspase-7, and 8-isoprostanes (p < .05) compared to sedentary controls, suggesting that long-term exercise may "protect" the bowel by reducing inflammatory cytokine and apoptotic protein expression.

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