Late-life exercise mitigates skeletal muscle epigenetic aging

Kevin A. Murach, Andrea L. Dimet-Wiley, Yuan Wen, Camille R. Brightwell, Christine M. Latham, Cory M. Dungan, Christopher S. Fry, Stanley J. Watowich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


There are functional benefits to exercise in muscle, even when performed late in life, but the contributions of epigenetic factors to late-life exercise adaptation are poorly defined. Using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS), ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and mitochondrial-specific examination of methylation, targeted high-resolution methylation analysis, and DNAge™ epigenetic aging clock analysis with a translatable model of voluntary murine endurance/resistance exercise training (progressive weighted wheel running, PoWeR), we provide evidence that exercise may mitigate epigenetic aging in skeletal muscle. Late-life PoWeR from 22–24 months of age modestly but significantly attenuates an age-associated shift toward promoter hypermethylation. The epigenetic age of muscle from old mice that PoWeR-trained for eight weeks was approximately eight weeks younger than 24-month-old sedentary counterparts, which represents ~8% of the expected murine lifespan. These data provide a molecular basis for exercise as a therapy to attenuate skeletal muscle aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13527
JournalAging cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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