Physical activity has been demonstrated to be effective in the prevention and treatment of different chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes (T2D). In particular, several studies highlighted how the beneficial effects of physical activity may be related to the stability of the DNA molecule, such as longer telomeric ends. Here we analyze the effect of exercise training on telomere length, spontaneous and H2O2-induced DNA damage, as well as the apoptosis level in leukocytes from untrained or trained T2D patients vs. age-matched control subjects (CS) (57-66 years). Moreover, expression analysis of selected genes belonging to DNA repair systems, cell cycle control, antioxidant and defence systems was performed. Subjects that participated in a regular exercise program showed a longer telomere sequence than untrained counterparts. Moreover, ex vivo treatment of leukocytes with H2O2 highlighted that: (1) oxidative DNA damage induced similar telomere attrition in all groups; (2) in T2D subjects, physical activity seemed to prevent a significant increase of genomic oxidative DNA damage induced by chronic exposure to pro-oxidant stimulus, and (3) decreased the sensitivity of leukocytes to apoptosis. Finally, the gene expression analysis in T2D subjects suggested an adaptive response to prolonged exercise training that improved the response of specific genes.
Dimauro, I., Sgura, A., Pittaluga, M., Magi, F., Fantini, C., Mancinelli, R., et al. (2017). Regular exercise participation improves genomic stability in diabetic patients: An exploratory study to analyse telomere length and DNA damage. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7(1) [10.1038/s41598-017-04448-4].