Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 1 pp 359—369
Aerobic capacity and telomere length in human skeletal muscle and leukocytes across the lifespan
- 1 Institute for Health and Sport (IHES), Victoria University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
- 2 Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS), University of Melbourne and Western Health, St Albans, VIC, Australia
- 3 RMIT University, School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
- 4 Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
- 5 Department of Medicine-Western Health, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
- 6 Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
received: November 6, 2019 ; accepted: December 18, 2019 ; published: January 3, 2020 ;https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.102627
How to Cite
Copyright © 2020 Hiam et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
A reduction in aerobic capacity and the shortening of telomeres are hallmarks of the ageing process. We examined whether a lower aerobic capacity is associated with shorter TL in skeletal muscle and/or leukocytes, across a wide age range of individuals. We also tested whether TL in human skeletal muscle (MTL) correlates with TL in leukocytes (LTL). Eighty-two recreationally active, healthy men from the Gene SMART cohort (31.4±8.2 years; body mass index (BMI)=25.3±3.3kg/m2), and 11 community dwelling older men (74.2±7.5years-old; BMI=28.7±2.8kg/m2) participated in the study. Leukocytes and skeletal muscle samples were collected at rest. Relative telomere length (T/S ratio) was measured by RT-PCR. Associations between TL, aerobic capacity (VO2 peak and peak power) and age were assessed with robust linear models. Older age was associated with shorter LTL (45% variance explained, P<0.001), but not MTL (P= 0.7). Aerobic capacity was not associated with MTL (P=0.5), nor LTL (P=0.3). MTL and LTL were correlated across the lifespan (rs=0.26, P=0.03). In healthy individuals, age explain most of the variability of LTL and this appears to be independent of individual aerobic capacity. Individuals with longer LTL also have a longer MTL, suggesting that there might be a shared molecular mechanism regulating telomere length.