Plasma irisin levels predict telomere length in healthy adults

Karan S. Rana, Muhammad Arif, Eric J. Hill, Sarah Aldred, David A. Nagel, Alan Nevill, Harpal S. Randeva, Clifford J. Bailey, Srikanth Bellary, James E. Brown*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ageing process is strongly influenced by nutrient balance, such that modest calorie restriction (CR) extends lifespan in mammals. Irisin, a newly described hormone released from skeletal muscles after exercise, may induce CR-like effects by increasing adipose tissue energy expenditure. Using telomere length as a marker of ageing, this study investigates associations between body composition, plasma irisin levels and peripheral blood mononuclear cell telomere length in healthy, non-obese individuals. Segmental body composition (by bioimpedance), telomere length and plasma irisin levels were assessed in 81 healthy individuals (age 43∈±∈15.8 years, BMI 24.3∈±∈2.9 kg/m2). Data showed significant correlations between log-transformed relative telomere length and the following: age (p∈<∈0.001), height (p∈=∈0.045), total body fat percentage (p∈=∈0.031), abdominal fat percentage (p∈=∈0.038) , visceral fat level (p∈<∈0.001), plasma leptin (p∈=∈0.029) and plasma irisin (p∈=∈0.011), respectively. Multiple regression analysis using backward elimination revealed that relative telomere length can be predicted by age (b∈=∈-0.00735, p∈=∈0.001) and plasma irisin levels (b∈=∈0.04527, p∈=∈0.021). These data support the view that irisin may have a role in the modulation of both energy balance and the ageing process. © 2014 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1001
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. The CC BY license permits commercial and non-commercial re-use of an open access article, as long as the original author and source are properly attributed.


  • adipose tissue
  • ageing
  • body composition
  • irisin
  • muscle
  • telomere length


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