Regular exercise reduces 8-oxodG in the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and modulates the DNA repair activity in the liver of old rats

Hideko Nakamoto, Takao Kaneko, Shoichi Tahara, Eri Hayashi, Hisashi Naito, Zsolt Radak, Sataro Goto

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Exercise is often said to increase the generation of reactive oxygen species that are potentially harmful. On the other hand, regular exercise has various health benefits even late in life. The specific aim of this study was to explore effects of regular exercise on oxidative status of DNA in aged animals. We report that 2 months of regular treadmill running of aged rats (21 month old) significantly reduced 8-oxodG content to the level of young adult animals (11 month old) in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of the liver. The mitochondrial DNA showed 10-fold higher content of the oxidative lesion than the nuclear DNA. The levels in old animals were 2- and 1.5-fold higher than that in young adults for the nucleus and mitochondria, respectively. The activity of the repair enzyme OGG1 was upregulated significantly in the nucleus but not in mitochondria by the exercise. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating that regular exercise can reduce significantly oxidative damage to both the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. We suggest that the apparent beneficial outcomes in reducing the DNA damage by regular exercise can be interpreted in terms of hormetic effect by moderate oxidative stress and potential adaptation to stronger stresses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental gerontology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2007



  • 8-oxodG
  • Aging
  • DNA oxidation
  • DNA repair
  • Liver
  • Mitochondria
  • Nucleus
  • OGG1
  • Regular exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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