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18.04.2017


Lazy bones who takes up exercise rejuvenates skin

Many of the wonderful things that exercise does for the muscles can also be seen to happen in the skin. And probably in other parts of the body too. Active muscles release the hormone interleukine-15 into the bloodstream and that hormone rejuvenates the cells in the skin. And in other tissues too. Canadian sports scientists at McMaster University write about this in Aging Cell.

Study
The Canadians studied cells taken from inactive and active people. The active people got more than four hours' exercise each week.

Results
In the active people [ACT] the stratum corneum [shown by the arrow], the dry outer skin layer, which consists mainly of dried and dead skin cells, was thinner than it was in the inactive people [SED].

The stratum spinosum [indicated by two asterisks], a slightly deeper skin layer with more living and supple skin cells, was significantly thicker in the active over-65s than in the inactive participants of the same age group.


Lazy bones who takes up exercise rejuvenates skin


Lazy bones who takes up exercise rejuvenates skin


Lazy bones who takes up exercise rejuvenates skin



The researchers also studied cells taken from the participants' mouths. In those who were physically active the gene for PGC-1-alpha was more active. PGC-1-alpha is activated by physical exercise and induces cells to produce more mitochondria. That also happens apparently in other cell types.

And indeed, in the cells from the mouths [Buccal cells] of the active participants the researchers found more mitochondrial DNA [mtDNA].

[Ask Google: what does one one the best websites on ergogenic strategies has to say about the relationship between aging and mitochondria?]


Lazy bones who takes up exercise rejuvenates skin



The researchers also got some of their inactive over-65s to exercise for a period of three months. They had to do a 45-minute cardio session twice a week. During that period the outer layer of dry skin became thinner and the amount of collagen and the number of mitochondria in the deeper skin layers increased.


Lazy bones who takes up exercise rejuvenates skin



Mechanism
In experiments they did with mice, the Canadians worked out how physical exercise rejuvenates the skin at molecular level. The figure below shows this. Interleukine-15 plays an important role in the process.


Lazy bones who takes up exercise rejuvenates skin



We already knew that physical exercise, via interleukine-15, not only keeps muscles young and strong [Cell Biol Int. 2003;27(10):845-51.] [Exp Cell Res. 2002 Oct 15;280(1):55-63.] [Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Oct 9;239(1):6-10.], but also has positive effects elsewhere in the body. For example, interleukine-15 plays a role in activating natural killer cells, the immune cells that clear up derailed cells and pathogens. [Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Aug;6(8):595-601.]

Source:
Aging Cell. 2015 Aug;14(4):625-34.

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