Mitochondria orchestrate the life and death of most eukaryotic cells by virtue of their ability to supply adenosine triphosphate from aerobic respiration for growth, development, and maintenance of the ‘physiologic reserve’. Although their double-membrane structure and primary role as ‘powerhouses of the cell’ have essentially remained the same for ~2 billion years, they have evolved to regulate other cell functions that contribute to the aging process, such as reactive oxygen species generation, inflammation, senescence, and apoptosis. Biological aging is characterized by buildup of intracellular debris (e.g., oxidative damage, protein aggregates, and lipofuscin), which fuels a ‘vicious cycle’ of cell/DNA danger response activation (CDR and DDR, respectively), chronic inflammation (‘inflammaging’), and progressive cell deterioration. Therapeutic options that coordinately mitigate age-related declines in mitochondria and organelles involved in quality control, repair, and recycling are therefore highly desirable. Rejuvenation by exercise is a non-pharmacological approach that targets all the major hallmarks of aging and extends both health- and lifespan in modern humans.
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