Telomerase is a specialized ribonucleoprotein enzyme complex which prevents the loss of the telomere. The activity of telomerase can be up- and down-regulated by various oxidative stresses but the effect of physical exercise is not known, whereas the modifying effect of cancer on telomerase activity is well documented. In the first study, we investigated the effect of mild and strenuous exercise training on telomerase activity, assessed by a PCR ELISA kit. No alteration in telomerase activity was detected. In the second investigation, solid sarcoma cells were transplanted to control, exercise trained or exercise trained and still exercising mice. On the 16th day after the transplantation, the size of tumors in the exercise trained group was 72% and in the exercising group 57% (P < 0.05) of that in the controls. Telomerase activity and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine levels in the liver were not significantly altered by exercise and/or sarcoma. We conclude that mild and strenuous exercise training does not significantly affect the activity of telomerase in the systems studied. Exercise training during sarcoma significantly retards the development of tumors and could possibly serve as a positive adjunct to treatment.
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