Category — stress
The load of short telomeres is increased and associated with lifetime number of depressive episodes in bipolar II disorder
It has recently been hypothesized that bipolar disorders are associated with accelerated aging. Telomere dysfunction, a biomarker of aging, is determined by the load of short telomeres, rather than by the mean telomere length. To our knowledge, the load of short telomeres has not been reported in any psychiatric disorder. The aims of the study were to examine the load of short telomeres and the mean telomere length and their relationships with illness duration and lifetime number of depressive episodes in bipolar II disorder (BD-II).
Twenty-eight patients (mean age = 34.8 ± 7.7) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of BD-II and 28 healthy control subjects (mean age = 34.8 ± 9.2) matched for age, sex, and education participated. The load of short telomeres (percentage of telomeres < 3 kilobases) and mean telomere length in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were measured using high-throughput quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization.
The load of short telomeres was significantly increased in patients with BD-II relative to healthy controls and may represent 13 years of accelerated aging. The load of short telomeres and the mean telomere length were associated with lifetime number of depressive episodes, but not with illness duration.
Modest sample size and cross-sectional design.
Our results suggest that BD-II is associated with an increased load of short telomeres. Depressive episode-related stress may accelerate telomere shortening and aging. However, longitudinal studies are needed to fully clarify telomere shortening and its relationship with clinical variables in BD-II.
September 13, 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
Association Between Telomere Length, Specific Causes of Death, and Years of Healthy Life in Health, Aging, and Body Composition, a Population-Based Cohort Study
Njajou OT, Hsueh WC, Blackburn EH, Newman AB, Wu SH, Li R, Simonsick EM, Harris TM, Cummings SR, Cawthon RM; for the Health ABC study
Although Telomere Length (TL) is known to play a critical role in cellular senescence, the relationship of TL to aging and longevity in humans is not well understood. In a large biracial population-based cohort, we tested the hypotheses that elderly persons with shorter TL in peripheral White Blood Cells have poorer survival, shorter lifespan, and fewer years of healthy life (YHL). Associations were evaluated using Cox proportional hazard models and linear regression analyses where appropriate. TL (in Kilo Base Pairs) was not associated with overall survival (hazard ratio 1.0; 95% confidence interval [0.9-1.1]) or death from any specific underlying cause including infectious diseases, cancer, or cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases. TL, however, was positively associated with more YHL (beta = 0.08 +/- 0.04, p = 0.03). Findings suggest that TL may not be a strong biomarker of survival in older individuals, but it may be an informative biomarker of healthy aging.
May 12, 2009 No Comments
SAUSALITO, Calif., Sept. 17 (UPI) — Shorter telomeres — DNA-protein complexes at the end of chromosomes — increase disease risk, but this may be reversed via lifestyle, a U.S. researcher says.
Dr. Dean Ornish of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, say telomere shortness in human beings is emerging as a prognostic marker of disease risk, progression and premature mortality.
Severe stress such as caring for a spouse or parent with dementia has been shown to shorten telomeres of the caregiver, but Ornish says that telomere shortening
is counteracted by the cellular enzyme telomerase — via lifestyle changes.
September 17, 2008 No Comments
Judith Campis and Fabrizio d’Adda di Fagagna; Nature Reviews | Molecular Cell Biology Volume 8 | 729
Cells continually experience stress and damage from exogenous and endogenous sources, and their responses range from complete recovery to cell death. Proliferating cells can initiate an additional response by adopting a state of permanent cell-cycle arrest that is termed cellular senescence. Understanding the causes and consequences of cellular senescence has provided novel insights into how cells react to stress, especially genotoxic stress, and how this cellular response can affect complex organismal processes such as the development of cancer and ageing.
September 1, 2007 No Comments
Accelerated Telomere Erosion Is Associated with a Declining Immune Function of Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
Amanda K. Damjanovic, Yinhua Yang, Ronald Glaser, Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Huy Nguyen, Bryon Laskowski, Yixiao Zou, David Q. Beversdorf,_and Nan-ping Weng. The Journal of Immunology, 2007, 179: 4249-4254.
Caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients endure chronic stress associated with a decline of immune function. To assess the psychological and immunological changes of caregivers, we compared depressive symptoms, PBMC composition, in vitro activation- induced proliferation and cytokine production, and telomere length and telomerase activity of 82 individuals (41 caregivers and 41 age- and gender-matched controls). We found depressive symptoms were significantly higher in caregivers than in controls (p < 0.001). Correspondingly, caregivers had significantly lower T cell proliferation but higher production of immune-regulatory cytokines (TNF-_ and IL-10) than controls in response to stimulation in vitro. We examined the impact of these changes on cellular replicative lifespan and found that caregivers had significantly shorter telomere lengths in PBMC than controls (6.2 and 6.4 kb, respectively, p < 0.05) with similar shortening in isolated T cells and monocytes and that this telomere attrition in caregivers was not due to an increase of shorter telomere possessing T cell subsets in PBMC. Finally, we showed that basal telomerase activity in PBMC and T cells was significantly higher in caregivers than in controls (p < 0.0001), pointing to an unsuccessful attempt of cells to compensate the excessive loss of telomeres in caregivers. These findings demonstrate that chronic stress is associated with altered T cell function and accelerated immune cell aging as suggested by excessive telomere loss.
September 1, 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
Elissa S. Epel, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Jue Lin, Firdaus S. Dhabhar, Nancy E. Adler, Jason D. Morrow, and Richard M. Cawthon
Numerous studies demonstrate links between chronic stress and indices of poor health, including risk factors for cardiovascular disease and poorer immune function. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms of how stress gets “under the skin” remain elusive. We investigated the hypothesis that stress impacts health by modulating the rate of cellular aging. Here we provide evidence that psychological stress – both perceived stress and chronicity of stress – is significantly associated with higher oxidative stress, lower telomerase activity, and shorter telomere length, which are known determinants of cell senescence and longevity, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy pre-menopausal women. Women with the highest levels of perceived stress have telomeres shorter on average by the equivalent of at least one decade of additional aging compared to low stress women. These findings have implications for understanding how, at the cellular level, stress may promote earlier onset of age-related diseases.
September 18, 2004 No Comments
Epel ES, Lin J, Wilhelm FH, Wolkowitz OM, Cawthon R, Adler NE, Dolbier C, Mendes WB, Blackburn EH. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2006 Apr;31(3):277-87.
We previously reported that psychological stress is linked to and possibly accelerates cellular aging, as reflected by lower PBMC telomerase and shortened telomeres. Psychological stress is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), with multiple behavioral and physiological mediators. Telomere shortness has been associated with CVD, but the relationship between low telomerase activity, a potential precursor to telomere shortening, and CVD risk factors has not been examined in humans. Here we examine whether telomere length and telomerase in leukocytes are associated with physiological signs of stress arousal and CVD risk factors in 62 healthy women. Low telomerase activity in leukocytes was associated with exaggerated autonomic reactivity to acute mental stress and elevated nocturnal epinephrine. Further, low telomerase activity was associated with the major risk factors for CVD -smoking, poor lipid profile, high systolic blood pressure, high fasting glucose, greater abdominal adiposity-as well as to a composite Metabolic Syndrome variable. Telomere length was related only to elevated stress hormones (catecholamines and cortisol). Thus, we propose that low leukocyte telomerase constitutes an early marker of CVD risk, possibly preceding shortened telomeres, that results in part from chronic stress arousal. Possible cellular mechanisms by which low telomerase may link stress and traditional risk factors to CVD are discussed. These findings may implicate telomerase as a novel and important mediator of the effects of psychological stress on physical health and disease.
November 30, -0001 No Comments