Childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels and is a serious health concern associated with metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and gut microbiota alterations. Physical exercise is known to counteract obesity progression and modulate the gut microbiota composition. This study aims to determine the effect of a 12-week strength and endurance combined training program on gut microbiota and inflammation in obese pediatric patients. Thirty-nine obese children were assigned randomly to the control or training group. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters, muscular strength, and inflammatory signaling pathways in mononuclear cells were evaluated. Bacterial composition and functionality were determined by massive sequencing and metabolomic analysis. Exercise reduced plasma glucose levels and increased dynamic strength in the upper and lower extremities compared with the obese control group. Metagenomic analysis revealed a bacterial composition associated with obesity, showing changes at the phylum, class, and genus levels. Exercise counteracted this profile, significantly reducing the Proteobacteria phylum and Gammaproteobacteria class. Moreover, physical activity tended to increase some genera, such as Blautia, Dialister, and Roseburia, leading to a microbiota profile similar to that of healthy children. Metabolomic analysis revealed changes in short-chain fatty acids, branched-chain amino acids, and several sugars in response to exercise, in correlation with a specific microbiota profile. Finally, the training protocol significantly inhibited the activation of the obesity-associated NLRP3 signaling pathway. Our data suggest the existence of an obesity-related deleterious microbiota profile that is positively modified by physical activity intervention. Exercise training could be considered an efficient nonpharmacological therapy, reducing inflammatory signaling pathways induced by obesity in children via microbiota modulation.
Aging is a natural, multifactorial and multiorganic phenomenon wherein there are gradual physiological and pathological changes over time. Aging has been associated with a decrease of autophagy capacity and mitochondrial functions, such as biogenesis, dynamics, and mitophagy. These processes are essential for the maintenance of mitochondrial structural integrity and, therefore, for cell life, since mitochondrial dysfunction leads to an impairment of energy metabolism and increased production of reactive oxygen species, which consequently trigger mechanisms of cellular senescence and apoptotic cell death. Moreover, reduced mitochondrial function can contribute to age-associated disease phenotypes in model organisms and humans. Literature data show beneficial effects of exercise on the impairment of mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics and on the decrease in the mitophagic capacity associated to aging. Thus, exercise could have effects on the major cell signaling pathways that are involved in the mitochondria quality and quantity control in the elderly. Although it is known that several exercise protocols are able to modify the activity and turnover of mitochondria, further studies are necessary in order to better identify the mechanisms of interaction between mitochondrial functions, aging, and physical activity, as well as to analyze possible factors influencing these processes.
Aging is associated with a decline in autophagy and a state of low-grade inflammation which further affects apoptosis and autophagy. Importantly, these alterations could reverse with regular physical activity. This study assessed the effects of a resistance exercise training program on autophagy, NLRP3 inflammasome, and apoptosis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from old subjects. Twenty-six healthy women and men (age, 69.6±1.5 yr) were randomized to a training (TG) or a control (CG) group. TG performed an 8-week resistance training program, while CG followed their daily routines. Protein expression of beclin-1, Atg12, Atg16 and LAMP-2 increased following the training program, while expression of p62/SQSTM1 and phosphorylation of ULK-1 at Ser757 were significantly lower. Resistance exercise also induced a decrease in NLRP3 expression and in the caspase-1/procaspase-1 ratio. Expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, as well as the Bad/BcL-2 ratio were reduced, and there was a significant decrease in the protein content of caspase-3. The results obtained seem to indicate that 8-week resistance training stimulates autophagy, prevents NLRP3 inflammasome activation, and reduces apoptosis in PBMCs from elderly subjects. These data could have a significant impact in prevention and rehabilitation programs currently employed in elderly population.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a dynamic and multifunctional organelle responsible for protein biosynthesis, folding, assembly and modifications. Loss of protein folding regulation, which leads to unfolded or misfolded proteins accumulation inside the ER lumen, drives ER stress (ERS) and unfolded protein response (UPR) activation. During aging, there is a decline in the ability of the cell to handle protein folding, accumulation and aggregation, and the function of UPR is compromised. There is a progressive failure of the chaperoning systems and a decline in many of its components, so that the UPR activation cannot rescue the ERS. Physical activity has been proposed as a powerful tool against aged-related diseases, which are linked to ERS. Interventional studies have demonstrated that regular exercise is able to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation and reverse mitochondrial and ER dysfunctions. Exercise-induced metabolic stress could activate the UPR since muscle contraction is directly involved in its activation, mediating exercise-induced adaptation responses. In fact, regular moderate-intensity exercise-induced ERS acts as a protective mechanism against current and future stressors. However, biological responses vary according to exercise intensity and therefore induce different degrees of ERS and UPR activation. This article reviews the effects of aging and exercise on ERS and UPR, also analyzing possible changes induced by different types of exercise in elderly subjects.
Exercise‐released exosomes have been identified as novel players to mediate cell‐to‐cell communication in promoting systemic beneficial effects. This review aimed to systematically investigate the effects of exercise on exosome release and cargo, as well as provide an overview of their physiological implications. Among the 436 articles obtained in the database search (WOS, Scopus, and PubMed), 19 articles were included based on eligibility criteria. Results indicate that exercise promotes the release of exosomes without modification of its vesicle size. The literature has primarily shown an exercise‐driven increase in exosome markers (Alix, CD63, CD81, and Flot‐1), along with other exosome‐carried proteins, into circulation. However, exosome isolation, characterization, and phenotyping methodology, as well as timing of sample recovery following exercise can influence the analysis and interpretation of findings. Moreover, a large number of exosome‐carried microRNAs (miRNAs), including miR‐1, miR‐133a, miR‐133b, miR‐206, and miR‐486, in response to exercise are involved in the modulation of proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle tissue, although antigen‐presenting cells, leukocytes, endothelial cells, and platelets are the main sources of exosome release into the circulation. Collectively, with the physiological implications as evidenced by the ex vivo trials, the release of exercise‐promoted exosomes and their cargo could provide the potential therapeutic applications via the role of intercellular communication.
Aging has been related with a decline in the ability to handle protein folding, which leads to endoplasmic reticulum stress and alterations in unfolded protein response (UPR). Importantly, physical activity could activate the UPR and attenuate or prevent age-induced ER dysfunction. The current study evaluated the effects of a resistance exercise on UPR and mitochondrial functions in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from elderly subjects. Thirty healthy women and men (age, 72.8, s x− = 2.2 years) were randomized to a training group, which performed an 8-week resistance training programme, or a control group, which followed their daily routines. The phosphorylation of PERK and IRE1a, as well as ATF4, and XBP1 protein expression, significantly increased following the training, while expression of BiP, AFT6 and CHOP remain without changes. Additionally, the intervention also induced an increase in PGC-1a and Mfn1 protein levels, while no changes were found in Drp1 expression. Finally, the resistance protocol was not able to activate PINK1/ Parkin and Bnip3/Nix pathways. The results obtained seem to indicate that 8-week resistance exercise activates the UPR, stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, maintains mitochondrial dynamics and prevents mitophagy activation by unfolded proteins in PBMCs from elderly subjects AQ2 ¶ .
Aging-associated inflammation is characterized by senescent cell-mediated secretion of high levels of inflammatory mediators, such as microRNA (miR)-146a. Moreover, a rise of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is also related to systemic inflammation and frailty in the elderly. Exosome-mediated cell-to-cell communication is fundamental in cellular senescence and aging. The plasma changes in exercise-promoted miR-146a-5p, cfDNA, and exosome release could be the key to facilitate intercellular communication and systemic adaptations to exercise in aging. Thirty-eight elderly subjects (28 trained and 10 controls) volunteered in an 8-week resistance training protocol. The levels of plasma miR-146a-5p, cfDNA, and exosome markers (CD9, CD14, CD63, CD81, Flotillin [Flot]-1, and VDAC1) were measured prior to and following training. Results showed no changes in plasma miR-146a-5p and cfDNA levels with training. The levels of exosome markers (Flot-1, CD9, and CD81) as well as exosome-carried proteins (CD14 and VDAC1) remained unchanged, whereas an attenuated CD63 response was found in the trained group compared to the controls. These findings might partially support the anti-inflammatory effect of resistance training in the elderly as evidenced by the diminishment of exosome CD63 protein expression, without modification of plasma miR-146a-5p and cfDNA.
Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species-mediated cellular aging has been linked to diseases such as atherothrombosis and cancer. Although pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is associated with aging-related diseases via TLR4-dependent anti-inflammatory effects, its relationship with oxidative stress in aging remains to be elucidated. Exercise is proposed as the key intervention for health maintenance in the elderly. This study aimed to examine the association of PTX3 levels with changes in oxidative stress in both plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), following aerobic training in elderly adults. Nine trained and five controls participated in an eight-week aerobic training protocol. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot analyses were used to determine PTX3, toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), and levels of oxidative stress biomarkers [3-nitrotyrosine (3NT), 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), glutathione (GSH), protein carbonyl (PC), reactive oxygen/ nitrogen species (ROS/RNS), and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC)] in plasma and/or PBMCs. Results showed a down-regulation of PTX3 expression in PBMCs following aerobic training, along with decreased PTX3/TLR4 ratios. Oxidative stress responses in PBMCs remained unchanged with the exercise protocol. Comparable levels of plasma PTX3 and oxidative stress biomarkers were observed in trained vs. control groups. No correlation was found between PTX3 and any oxidative stress biomarkers following training. These findings demonstrated the down-regulation of PTX3 and PTX3/TLR4 ratio, irrespective of oxidative stress response, in elderly adults following eight weeks of aerobic training.
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