Current evidence that exercise can increase the number of adult stem cells
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- Macaluso, F. & Myburgh, K.H. J Muscle Res Cell Motil (2012) 33: 187. doi:10.1007/s10974-012-9302-0
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The number of adult stem cells (ASCs) is very small, limiting the regenerative potential of tissues. One of the most studied ASCs in humans is the satellite cell (SC), which proliferates and increases pool size under exercise stress and muscle damage. This review examines the growth factor response to specific types of exercise to show the potential of exercise to stimulate not only SC self-renewal, but also other ASCs. We postulate that the same factors that stimulate a high proliferation of SCs in skeletal muscle after physical exercise should also stimulate the proliferation of ASCs in the tissue in which they reside, such as heart, bone, liver and etc. Regular exercise should be promoted, not only for disease prevention, but to maintain a high ASCs reserve and progenitor cell potential for rapid activation in response to future stressors and damage.