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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology