Regular physical exercise has health benefits and can prevent some of the ageing-associated muscle deteriorations. However, the biochemical mechanisms underlying this exercise benefit, especially in human tissues, are not well known. To investigate, we assessed this using miRNA profiling, mRNA and protein levels of anti-oxidant and metabolic proteins in the vastus lateralis muscle of master athletes aged over 65 years and age-matched controls. Master athletes had lower levels of miR-7, while mRNA or protein levels of SIRT3, SIRT1, SOD2, and FOXO1 levels were significantly higher in the vastus lateralis muscle of master athletes compared to muscles of age-matched controls. These results suggest that regular exercise results in better cellular metabolism and antioxidant capacity via maintaining physiological state of mitochondria and efficient ATP production and decreasing ageing-related inflammation as indicated by the lower level of miR-7 in master athletes.
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