Category — cardiovascular
Biologic function and clinical potential of telomerase and associated proteins in cardiovascular tissue repair and regeneration
Telomeres comprise long tracts of double-stranded TTAGGG repeats that extend for 9–15 kb in humans. Telomere length is maintained by telomerase, a specialized ribonucleoprotein that prevents the natural ends of linear chromosomes from undergoing inappropriate repair, which could otherwise lead to deleterious chromosomal fusions. During the development of cardiovascular tissues, telomerase activity is strong but diminishes with age in adult hearts. Dysfunction of telomerase is associated with the impairment of tissue repair or regeneration in several pathologic conditions, including heart failure and infarction. Under both physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions, telomerase interacts with promyogenic nuclear transcription factors (e.g. myocardin, serum response factor) to augment the potency of cardiovascular cells during growth, survival, and differentiation.
November 19, 2012 No Comments
Psychological stress is suggested to accelerate the rate of biological aging. We investigated whether work-related exhaustion, an indicator of prolonged work stress, is associated with accelerated biological aging, as indicated by shorter leukocyte telomeres, that is, the DNA-protein complexes that cap chromosomal ends in cells.
We used data from a representative sample of the Finnish working-age population, the Health 2000 Study. Our sample consisted of 2911 men and women aged 30–64. Work-related exhaustion was assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory – General Survey. We determined relative leukocyte telomere length using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) -based method.
After adjustment for age and sex, individuals with severe exhaustion had leukocyte telomeres on average 0.043 relative units shorter (standard error of the mean 0.016) than those with no exhaustion (p = 0.009). The association between exhaustion and relative telomere length remained significant after additional adjustment for marital and socioeconomic status, smoking, body mass index, and morbidities (adjusted difference 0.044 relative units, standard error of the mean 0.017, p = 0.008).
These data suggest that work-related exhaustion is related to the acceleration of the rate of biological aging. This hypothesis awaits confirmation in a prospective study measuring changes in relative telomere length over time.
July 24, 2012 No Comments
Telomeres, the body’s own cellular clocks, may be a crucial factor underlying the development of emphysema, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.
“We found that in mice that have short telomeres, there was a significant increased risk of developing emphysema after exposure to cigarette smoke,” said Mary Armanios, MD, assistant professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
The study appears online ahead of the print edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
July 15, 2011 No Comments
Telomere Length Trajectory and Its Determinants in Persons with Coronary Artery Disease: Longitudinal Findings from the Heart and Soul Study
1 Division of Cardiology, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, California, United States of America, 2 Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America, 3 Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America, 4 Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America, 5 Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California, United States of America, 6 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America
Leukocyte telomere length, an emerging marker of biological age, has been shown to predict cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, the natural history of telomere length in patients with coronary artery disease has not been studied. We sought to investigate the longitudinal trajectory of telomere length, and to identify the independent predictors of telomere shortening, in persons with coronary artery disease.
In a prospective cohort study of 608 individuals with stable coronary artery disease, we measured leukocyte telomere length at baseline, and again after five years of follow-up. We used multivariable linear and logistic regression models to identify the independent predictors of leukocyte telomere trajectory. Baseline and follow-up telomere lengths were normally distributed. Mean telomere length decreased by 42 base pairs per year (p<0.001). Three distinct telomere trajectories were observed: shortening in 45%, maintenance in 32%, and lengthening in 23% of participants. The most powerful predictor of telomere shortening was baseline telomere length (OR per SD increase = 7.6; 95% CI 5.5, 10.6). Other independent predictors of telomere shortening were age (OR per 10 years = 1.6; 95% CI 1.3, 2.1), male sex (OR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.3, 4.7), and waist-to-hip ratio (OR per 0.1 increase = 1.4; 95% CI 1.0, 2.0).
Leukocyte telomere length may increase as well as decrease in persons with coronary artery disease. Telomere length trajectory is powerfully influenced by baseline telomere length, possibly suggesting negative feedback regulation. Age, male sex, and abdominal obesity independently predict telomere shortening. The mechanisms and reversibility of telomeric aging in cardiovascular disease deserve further study.
June 1, 2011 No Comments
The rate of leukocyte telomere shortening predicts mortality from cardiovascular disease in elderly men
- ¹University of California, San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA
- ²University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1687, USA
- ³University of Utah, Human Genetics, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
- 4University of California, San Francisco, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, San Francisco, CA, 94158, USA
- ⁵University of California, San Francisco, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, San Francisco, CA, 94107, USA
- Running title:
- Telomere Shortening and Mortality
- Key words:
- aging, longevity, telomere length, cardiovascular disease, mortality
- 11/05/08; accepted: 12/01/08; published on line: 12/19/08
- Elissa S. Epel, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry, 3333 California St, Ste. 465, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA
- e-mail: EEpel@lppi.ucsf.edu
Telomere length (TL) has been proposed as a marker of mitotic cell age and as a general index of human organismic aging. Short absolute leukocyte telomere length has been linked to cardiovascular-related morbidity and mortality. Our aim was to test whether the rate of change in leukocyte TL is related to mortality in a healthy elderly cohort. We examined a subsample of 236 randomly selected Caucasian participants from the MacArthur Health Aging Study (aged 70 to 79 years). DNA samples from baseline and 2.5 years later were assayed for mean TL of leukocytes. Percent change in TL was calculated as a measure of TL change (TLC). Associations between TL and TLC with 12-year overall and cardiovascular mortality were assessed. Over the 2.5 year period, 46% of the study participants showed maintenance of mean bulk TL, whereas 30% showed telomere shortening, and, unexpectedly, 24% showed telomere lengthening. For women, short baseline TL was related to greater mortality from cardiovascular disease (OR = 2.3; 95% CI:1.0-5.3). For men, TLC (specifically shortening), but not baseline TL, was related to greater cardiovascular mortality, OR = 3.0 (95% CI: 1.1-8.2). This is the first demonstration that rate of telomere length change (TLC) predicts mortality and thus may be a useful prognostic factor for longevity.
June 1, 2011 No Comments
Christian Werner MD, Tobias Fürster MD, Thomas Widmann MD, Janine Pöss MD, Cristiana Roggia MD, Milad Hanhoun MD, Jürgen Scharhag MD, Nicole Büchner DBBSc, Tim Meyer MD, Wilfried Kindermann MD, Judith Haendeler PhD, Michael Böhm MD, and Ulrich Laufs MD
C57/Bl6 mice were randomized to voluntary running or no running wheel conditions for 3 weeks. Exercise upregulated telomerase activity in the thoracic aorta and in circulating mononuclear cells compared with sedentary controls, increased vascular expression of telomere repeat-binding factor 2 and Ku70, and reduced the expression of vascular apoptosis regulators such as cell-cycle-checkpoint kinase 2, p16, and p53. Mice preconditioned by voluntary running exhibited a marked reduction in lipopolysaccharide-induced aortic endothelial apoptosis. Transgenic mouse studies showed that endothelial nitric oxide synthase and telomerase reverse transcriptase synergize to confer endothelial stress resistance after physical activity. To test the significance of these data in humans, telomere biology in circulating leukocytes of young and middle-aged track and field athletes was analyzed. Peripheral blood leukocytes isolated from endurance athletes showed increased telomerase activity, expression of telomere-stabilizing proteins, and downregulation of cell-cycle inhibitors compared with untrained individuals. Long-term endurance training was associated with reduced leukocyte telomere erosion compared with untrained controls.
November 30, 2009 No Comments
Kajstura J, Rota M, Urbanek K, Hosoda T, Bearzi C, Anversa P, Bolli R, Leri A. Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA.
The preservation of myocyte number and cardiac mass throughout life is dependent on the balance between cell death and cell division. Rapidly emerging evidence indicates that new myocytes can be formed through the activation and differentiation of resident cardiac progenitor cells. The critical issue is the identification of mechanisms that define the aging of cardiac progenitor cells and, ultimately, their inability to replace dying myocytes. The most reliable marker of cellular senescence is the modification of the telomere-telomerase axis, together with the expression of the cell cycle inhibitors p16INK4a and p53. Cellular senescence is characterized by biochemical events that occur within the cell. In this regard, one of the most relevant processes is represented by repeated oxidative stress that may evolve into the activation of the cell death program or result in the development of a senescent phenotype. Thus, the modulation of telomerase activity and the control of telomeric length, together with the attenuation of the formation of reactive oxygen species, may represent important therapeutic tools in regenerative medicine and in prevention of aging and diabetic cardiomyopathies.
December 8, 2008 No Comments
Minamino T, Komuro I.:Department of Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, Japan. Front. Biosci. 1;13:2971-9.
Telomeres are DNA regions composed of TTAGGG repeats that are located at the ends of chromosomes. Specific proteins associate with the telomeres and form non-nucleosomal DNA-protein complexes that serve as protective caps for the chromosome ends. There is accumulating evidence that progressive telomere shortening is closely related to cardiovascular disease. For example, vascular cell senescence has been reported to occur in human atherosclerotic lesions and this change is associated with telomere shortening. Impairment of telomere integrity causes vascular dysfunction, which is prevented by the activation of telomerase. Mice with short telomeres develop hypertension and exhibit impaired neovascularization. Short telomeres have also been reported in the leukocytes of patients with cardiovascular disease or various cardiovascular risk factors. Although it remains unclear whether short telomeres directly cause cardiovascular disease, manipulation of telomere function is potentially an attractive strategy for the treatment of vascular senescence.
January 1, 2008 No Comments
Jose J. Fuster, Javier Diez and Vicente Andres. Journal of Hypertension, 25:2185-2192, 2007.
Aging is a major risk factor for hypertension and associated cardiovascular disease. In most proliferative tissues, aging is characterized by shortening of the DNA component of telomeres, the specialized genetic segments that cap the end of eukaryotic chromosomes and protect them from end-to-end fusions. By inducing genomic instability, replicative senescence and apoptosis, telomere shortening is thought to contribute to organismal aging and to the development of age-related diseases. Here, we review animal and human studies that have investigated the possible links between telomere ablation and the pathogenesis of hypertension and related target organ damage. Although evidence is mounting that alterations in telomerase activity and telomere shortening may play a role in the pathogenesis of hypertension, additional studies are required to understand the molecular mechanisms by which telomere dysfunction and hypertension are functionally connected. As our knowledge on this emerging field grows, the challenge will be to ascertain whether all this information might translate into clinical applications.
November 25, 2007 No Comments
Annette L. Fitzpatrick, Richard A. Kronmal, Jeffrey P. Gardner, Bruce M. Psaty, Nancy S. Jenny, Russell P. Tracy, Jeremy Walston, Masyuki Kimura, and Abraham Aviv. American Journal of Epidemiology 2007; 165:14-21.
The telomere length of replicating somatic cells is inversely correlated with age and has been reported to be associated cross-sectionally with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Leukocyte telomere length, as expressed by mean terminal restriction fragment (TRF) length, was measured in 419 randomly selected participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study, comprising a community-dwelling cohort recruited in four US communities. The authors investigated associations between TRF length and selected measures of subclinical CVD/risk factors for CVD (data were collected at the 1992/1993 clinic visit) and incident CVD (ascertained through June 2002). In these participants (average age ¼ 74.2 years (standard deviation, 5.2)), mean TRF length was 6.3 kilobase pairs (standard deviation, 0.62). Significant or borderline inverse associations were found between TRF length and diabetes, glucose, insulin, diastolic blood pressure, carotid intima-media thickness, and interleukin-6. Associations with body size and C-reactive protein were modified by gender and age, occurring only in men and in participants aged 73 years or younger. In younger (but not older) participants, each shortened kilobase pair of TRF corresponded with a threefold increased risk of myocardial infarction (hazard ratio ¼ 3.08, 95% confidence interval: 1.22, 7.73) and stroke (hazard ratio ¼ 3.22, 95% confidence interval: 1.29, 8.02). These results support the hypotheses that telomere attrition may be related to diseases of aging through mechanisms involving oxidative stress, inflammation, and progression to CVD.
October 16, 2006 No Comments