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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
10-May-2010

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Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22165
BioMed Central
@biomedcentral

Running a marathon halts cellular suicide

Apoptosis, the natural 'programmed' death of cells, is arrested in the aftermath of strenuous exercise. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Physiology studied peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), isolated from whole blood samples taken from people after finishing a marathon, finding that the balance between expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic genes is shifted after the race.

Gabriella Marfe from the University of Rome 'Tor Vergata' led a team of researchers who studied ten amateur athletes after a 42km run. Marfe said, "Apoptosis is a normal physiological function dependent on a variety of signals, many of which can be modulated by strenuous exercise. Here, we've shown for the first time that exercise modulates expression of the sirtuin family of proteins, which may be key regulators of training".

The researchers believe that the sirtuin family of proteins, particularly SIRT1, may be involved in the protective effects of exercise against cell death. Speaking about these results, Marfe added, "Sirtuins may play a crucial role of mediators/effectors in the maintenance of skeletal and cardiac muscle tissues as well as neurons, thus explaining the synergic protective effects of physical exercise and calorie restriction for survival and ageing".

The authors also caution that any exercise people carry out should be done properly. Marfe said, "Untrained amateur athletes often do hard training without professional advice. Such intense and exhaustive exercise can be harmful to health. In order to achieve beneficial effects, we recommend that exercise training should form part of a lifelong regime with expert medical advice and supervision".

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Notes to Editors

1. The effect of marathon on mRNA expression of anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic proteins and sirtuins family in male recreational long-distance runners
Gabriella Marfe, Marco Tafani, Bruna Pucci, Carla Di Stefano, Manuela Indelicato, Angela Andreoli, Matteo Antonio Russo, Paola Sinibaldi-Salimei and Vincenzo Manzi
BMC Physiology
(in press)

During embargo, article available here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/imedia/5866766432920880_article.pdf?random=816802

After the embargo, article available at the journal website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcphysiol/

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication.

2. BMC Physiology is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in cellular, tissue-level, organismal, functional, and developmental aspects of physiological processes. BMC Physiology (ISSN 1472-6793) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, BIOSIS, CAS, EMBASE, Scopus, Zoological Record, CABI and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.



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