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).
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- adipose tissue
- body composition
- telomere length