Telomere Science Library

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Short leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with atherosclerosis in adults and diminished survival in the elderly. The prevailing view is that LTL is associated with accelerated aging since it serves as a biomarker of the cumulative burden of inflammation and oxidative stress during adult life. However LTL dynamics are mainly defined by LTL at birth, which is highly variable, and its age-dependent attrition thereafter, which is rapid during the first 20 years of life. We examined whether...
Published 06/24/2015    Read More...
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. Adverse childhood experiences are also associated with shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in adults, suggesting accelerated cell aging. No studies have yet assessed the relationship of ACEs to LTL in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD), despite the high incidence of antecedent ACEs in individuals with MDD. Further, no studies in any population have assessed the...
Published 08/05/2014    Read More...
Human aging is associated with DNA methylation changes at specific sites in the genome. These epigenetic modifications may be used to track donor age for forensic analysis or to estimate biological age....
Published 02/03/2014    Read More...
University of California, Berkeley In 1984, University of California, Berkeley biology professor Elizabeth Blackburn and then grad student Carol Greider made the discovery that a quarter century later would win them the Nobel Pnze: They identified telomerase as the enzyme that protects the DNA in our chromosomes, in...
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Anxiety disorders increase the risk of onset of several ageing-related somatic conditions, which might be the consequence of accelerated cellular ageing....
Published 02/05/2015    Read More...
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and bone mineral density (BMD) are associated with health and mortality. Because osteoporosis is an age-related condition and LTL is considered to be a biomarker of aging, we hypothesized that shorter LTL could predict lower BMD. The aim of our study was to assess whether there is an association of LTL with BMD and to determine whether this possible association is independent of age. The BMDs of the lumbar spine (LS), femoral neck (FN) and total hip (TH) were...
Published 04/11/2015    Read More...
Introduction. Fatigue is often present in older adults with no identified underlying cause. The accruing burden of oxidative stress and inflammation might be underlying factors of fatigue. We therefore hypothesized that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is relatively short in older adults who experience fatigue. Materials and Methods. We assessed 439 older nondisabled Danish twins. LTL was measured using Southern blots of terminal restriction fragments. Fatigue was measured by the Mob-T Scale...
Published 02/16/2014    Read More...
Yoga is a mind-body modulation technique that has been shown to have beneficial effects on various diseases related to various systems in the body. However, the molecular basis of mechanism of action is not clear. Hence, this study was designed to study the leukocyte telomere biology and its relation with homocysteine and oxidative stress in yoga practitioners....
Published 03/01/2015    Read More...
Short leukocyte telomere length (TL) and accelerated telomere attrition have been associated with various deleterious health outcomes, although their determinants have not been explored collectively in a large-scale study....
Published 02/12/2016    Read More...
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States and aging is a major risk factor for CVD development. One of the major age-related arterial phenotypes thought to be responsible for the development of CVD in older adults is endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial function is modulated by traditional CVD risk factors in young adults, but advancing age is independently associated with the development of vascular endothelial dysfunction. This endothelial dysfunction...
Published 02/02/2015    Read More...
Hispanic Americans comprise the largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority in the USA. In Houston, Texas, 44% of the population is of Hispanic descent, with the majority being Mexican Americans (78%). This population is under-represented in health-related research despite their high prevalence of obesity and diabetes, which may predispose them to cancer and other chronic conditions. Recognizing the need for a greater research effort into the health risks of Hispanic Americans, the...
Published 03/08/2015    Read More...
Progress in improving animal welfare is currently limited by the lack of objective methods for assessing lifetime experience. I propose that telomere attrition, a cellular biomarker of biological age, provides a molecular measure of cumulative experience that could be used to assess the welfare impact of husbandry regimes and/or experimental procedures on non-human animals. I review evidence from humans that telomere attrition is accelerated by negative experiences in a cumulative and...
Published 12/08/2015    Read More...
Telomere length, a reliable predictor of disease pathogenesis, can be affected by genetics, chronic stress and health behaviors. Cross-sectionally, highly stressed postmenopausal women have shorter telomeres, but only if they are inactive. However, no studies have prospectively examined telomere length change over a short period, and if rate of attrition is affected by naturalistic factors such as stress and engagement in healthy behaviors, including diet, exercise, and sleep. Here we followed...
Published 07/29/2014    Read More...
Telomere attrition, causing accelerated aging, might be one of the mechanisms through which neuroticism leads to somatic disease and increased all-cause mortality. In the current study we investigated whether neuroticism is prospectively associated with shorter telomere length (TL), a biological marker of aging....
Published 07/09/2013    Read More...
Exposure to chronic stressors is associated with accelerated biological aging as indicated by reduced leukocyte telomere length (LTL). This impact could be because of chronic overactivation of the body's physiological stress systems. This study examined the associations between LTL and the immune system, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and autonomic nervous system. LTL was assessed in 2936 adults from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety. Inflammation markers (interleukin-6,...
Published 12/27/2013    Read More...
African Americans suffer from disproportionately high rates of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Psychosocial stress, lifestyle and telomere dysfunction contribute to the pathogenesis of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. This study evaluated effects of stress reduction and lifestyle modification on blood pressure, telomerase gene expression and lifestyle factors in African Americans....
Published 11/16/2015    Read More...
Telomeres are DNA-protein complexes that cap chromosomal ends, promoting chromosome stability. Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein complex with a direct telomere protective function. Telomere shortening represents lifetime exposure to oxidative stress and is negatively correlated with age, smoking, and mortality. Smoking increases oxidative DNA modification and thus may influence telomere dynamics and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) activity....
Published 03/06/2014    Read More...
A growing number of studies confirm an important effect of diet, lifestyle and physical activity on health status, the ageing process and many metabolic disorders. This study focuses on the influence of a diet supplement, NucleVital®Q10 Complex, on parameters related to redox homeostasis and ageing. An experimental group of 66 healthy volunteer women aged 35-55 supplemented their diet for 12 weeks with the complex, which contained omega-3 acids (1350 mg/day), ubiquinone (300 mg/day),...
Published 09/17/2014    Read More...
Chromosome 5p15.33 has been identified as a lung cancer susceptibility locus, however the underlying causal mechanisms were not fully elucidated. Previous fine-mapping studies of this locus have relied on imputation or investigated a small number of known, common variants. This study represents a significant advance over previous research by investigating a large number of novel, rare variants, as well as their underlying mechanisms through telomere length. Variants for this fine-mapping study...
Published 11/20/2015    Read More...
Authors: Carrie C. Printz Published: 03/07/2014, Cancer PubMed Full Text...
Published 03/07/2014    Read More...
Telomeres are the protective end-complexes at the termini of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere attrition can lead to potentially maladaptive cellular changes, block cell division, and interfere with tissue replenishment. Recent advances in the understanding of human disease processes have clarified the roles of telomere biology, especially in diseases of human aging and in some aging-related processes. Greater overall telomere attrition predicts mortality and aging-related diseases in inherited...
Published 01/20/2016    Read More...
Prof Dean Ornish MD, Jue Lin PhD, Jennifer Daubenmier PhD, Gerdi Weidner PhD, Elissa Epel PhD, Colleen Kemp MSN, Mark Jesus M Magbanua PhD, Ruth Marlin MD, Loren Yglecias BA, Prof Peter R Carroll MD and Prof Elizabeth H Blackburn PhD Telomeres are protective DNA-protein complexes at the...
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The field of sedentary behavior epidemiology is emerging. Short leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a hallmark characteristic of aging, but LTL is also associated with morbidity and mortality independent of age. To my knowledge, only one study has examined the association between sedentary behavior and LTL. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between screen-based sedentary behavior and LTL. Data from the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used...
Published 05/02/2015    Read More...
Centenarians and their offspring are increasingly considered a useful model to study and characterize the mechanisms underlying healthy aging and longevity. The aim of this project is to compare the prevalence of age-related diseases and telomere length (TL), a marker of biological age and mortality, across five groups of subjects: semisupercentenarians (SSCENT) (105-109years old), centenarians (CENT) (100-104years old), centenarians' offspring (CO), age- and gender-matched offspring of parents...
Published 06/27/2014    Read More...
Age-related progressive loss of muscle mass is an increasing problem in our aging society, affecting physical ability, risk of falls, and need for health care. Telomere length has been recognized as a marker of biological age on the population level. The relation between muscle mass in advanced age and telomere length, however, has rarely been examined....
Published 12/16/2015    Read More...
Deterioration of metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been associated with short telomere length (TL). Large-scale longitudinal studies with repeated measures of MetS and TL are lacking....
Published 07/01/2015    Read More...
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) ostensibly shortens with age and has been moderately associated with mortality. In humans, these findings have come almost solely from cross-sectional studies. Only recently has LTL shortening within individuals been analyzed in longitudinal studies. Such studies are relevant to establish LTL dynamics as biomarkers of mortality as well as to disentangle the causality of telomeres on aging....
Published 10/22/2013    Read More...
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have an increased onset risk of aging-related somatic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. This suggests mechanisms of accelerated biological aging among the depressed, which can be indicated by a shorter length of telomeres. We examine whether MDD is associated with accelerated biological aging, and whether depression characteristics such as severity, duration, and psychoactive medication do further impact on biological...
Published 11/12/2013    Read More...
The theory of fetal origins of adult disease was first proposed in 1989, and in the decades since, a wide range of other diseases from obesity to asthma have been found to originate in early development. Because mammalian oocyte development begins in fetal life it has been suggested that environmental and lifestyle factors of the mother could directly impact the fertility of subsequent generations. Cigarette smoke is a known ovotoxicant in active smokers, yet disturbingly 13% of Australian and...
Published 01/13/2016    Read More...
In ageing populations many patients have multiple diseases characterised by acceleration of the normal ageing process. Better understanding of the signalling pathways and cellular events involved in ageing shows that these are characteristic of many chronic degenerative diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and neurodegeneration. Common mechanisms have now been identified in these diseases, which show evidence of cellular...
Published 01/22/2015    Read More...
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is considered as the marker of biological aging and may be related to environmental factors. The current study aimed to examine the relation between Mediterranean-type diet and LTL. We used a cross-sectional study of 1743 multi-ethnic community residents of New York aged 65 years or older. Mediterranean-type diet (MeDi) was calculated from dietary information collected using a food frequency questionnaire. LTL was measured from leukocyte DNA using a real-time PCR...
Published 03/08/2015    Read More...
Studies indicate that exercise might delay human biological aging, but the effects of long-term exercise on T cell function are not well known. We tested the hypothesis that moderate or intense exercise lifestyle may attenuate the effects of aging on the telomere length and the survival and composition of T cell subpopulations. Elderly (65-85 years) with intense training lifestyle (IT, n = 15), moderate training lifestyle (MT, n = 16), and who never trained (NT, n = 15) were...
Published 02/10/2016    Read More...
Adversity, particularly in early life, can cause illness. Clues to the responsible mechanisms may lie with the discovery of molecular signatures of stress, some of which include alterations to an individual's somatic genome. Here, using genome sequences from 11,670 women, we observed a highly significant association between a stress-related disease, major depression, and the amount of mtDNA (p = 9.00 × 10(-42), odds ratio 1.33 [95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.29-1.37]) and telomere length (p =...
Published 04/23/2015    Read More...
Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell divides, and critically shortened telomeres trigger cellular senescence. Thus, telomere length is hypothesized to be a biological marker of aging. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between neighborhood characteristics and leukocyte telomere length. Using data from a subsample (n=978) of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a population-based study of women...
Published 05/22/2014    Read More...
Telomere length is emerging as a biomarker for aging and survival is paternally inherited and associated with parental lifespan. Telomere-associated cellular senescence may contribute to certain age-related disorders, including an increase in cancer incidence, wrinkling and diminished skin elasticity, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, weight loss, age-related cataract, glaucoma and others. Shorter telomere length in leukocytes was associated cross-sectionally with cardiovascular disorders and its...
Published 11/27/2014    Read More...
Nutrition and lifestyle, known to modulate aging process and age-related diseases, might also affect telomerase activity. Short and dysfunctional telomeres rather than average telomere length are associated with longevity in animal models, and their rescue by telomerase maybe sufficient to restore cell and organismal viability. Improving telomerase activation in stem cells and potentially in other cells by diet and lifestyle interventions may represent an intriguing way to promote health-span in...
Published 02/17/2016    Read More...
Telomere shortening is associated with increasing age, male gender and lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking. Inflammation has also been implicated in cellular senescence and may promote telomere shortening in chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes. However, little is known about the relationship between markers of obesity and inflammation, and leukocyte telomere length (LTL)....
Published 09/10/2015    Read More...
Telomere length (TL) is a biomarker of accumulated cellular damage and human aging. Evidence in healthy populations suggests that TL is impacted by a host of psychosocial and lifestyle factors, including physical activity. This is the first study to evaluate the relationship between self-reported physical activity and telomere length in early stage breast cancer survivors....
Published 07/31/2014    Read More...
Obesity and inactivity have been associated with advanced-stage prostate cancer, and poor prostate cancer outcomes, though the underlying mechanism(s) is unknown. To determine whether telomere shortening, which has been associated with lethal prostate cancer, may be a potential underlying mechanism, we prospectively evaluated the association between measures of adiposity, physical activity, and telomere length in 596 participants in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, who were surgically...
Published 05/19/2015    Read More...
The gene variant Pro/Ala (rs1801282) in the PPARγ2 has been associated with lower cardiovascular risk and greater benefit from lifestyle interventions. This polymorphism also seems to be associated with longer lifespan, but no information on telomere length (TL) is available. Our aim was to study the association between the Ala allele and changes in TL in high cardiovascular risk subjects and the potential interaction with a Mediterranean dietary pattern....
Published 11/18/2014    Read More...
Ageing is linked to a number of changes in how the body and its organs function. On a molecular level, ageing is associated with a reduction of telomere length, changes in metabolic and gene-transcription profiles and an altered DNA-methylation pattern. Lifestyle factors such as smoking or stress can impact some of these molecular processes and thereby affect the ageing of an individual. Here we demonstrate by analysis of 77 plasma proteins in 976 individuals, that the abundance of circulating...
Published 12/01/2015    Read More...
Shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) has been associated with a wide range of age-related disorders including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. Obesity is an important risk factor for CVD and diabetes. The association of LTL with obesity is not well understood. This study for the first time examines the association of LTL with obesity indices including body mass index, waist circumference, percent body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio in 3,256 American Indians...
Published 06/06/2014    Read More...
Recent studies have found mixed results regarding the association between leukocyte telomere length (LTL)--thought to be a marker of cellular aging--and all-cause mortality. Some studies have reported a significant inverse relationship, but others have not, perhaps in part owing to insufficient power. We examine the relationship using data from a nationally representative sample of older Taiwanese (54+ in 2000), which is larger (n = 942) than most previous studies, and which includes...
Published 10/17/2014    Read More...
Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and its consequences, including accelerated ageing and mortality. The underlying factor could be accumulation of certain lipid moieties, such as ceramides (CER) and diacylgycerol (DAG) within muscle tissue, which are known to promote insulin resistance (IR), induce inflammation and oxidative injury, ultimately altering muscle function....
Published 03/26/2015    Read More...
Telomere length (TL), the length of repeated DNA sequence that forms protective caps at the end of chromosomes, has emerged as a novel biomarker of cell aging and oxidative stress. There is increasing research exploring the associations of smoking and perceived stress with TL, and the results are inconsistent. This study aimed to examine whether smoking and perceived stress were associated with shortened salivary TL among primary caregivers of children with disabilities. Using a quantitative...
Published 12/18/2014    Read More...
Telomere length has been associated with a healthy lifestyle and longevity. However, the effect of increased physical activity on telomere length is still unknown. Therefore, the aim was to study the relationship between changes in physical activity level and sedentary behaviour and changes in telomere length....
Published 09/03/2014    Read More...
Reductions in DNA integrity, genome stability, and telomere length are strongly associated with the aging process, age-related diseases as well as the age-related loss of muscle mass. However, in people reaching an age far beyond their statistical life expectancy the prevalence of diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or dementia, is much lower compared to "averagely" aged humans. These inverse observations in nonagenarians (90-99 years), centenarians (100-109 years) and...
Published 08/28/2015    Read More...
J Clin Invest. 2015. Epub 2014 Dec 22. Mutations in the essential telomerase genes TERT and TR cause familial pulmonary fibrosis; however, in telomerase-null mice, short telomeres predispose to emphysema after chronic cigarette smoke exposure. Here, we tested whether telomerase mutations are a risk factor for human emphysema by...
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Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences located at distal ends of chromosomes that protect against genomic DNA degradation and chromosomal instability. Excessive telomere shortening leads to cellular senescence and for this reason telomere length is a marker of biological age. Abnormally short telomeres may culminate in the manifestation of a number of cardio-metabolic diseases. Age-related cardio-metabolic diseases attributable to an inactive lifestyle, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes...
Published 02/25/2016    Read More...
Ramin Farzaneh-Far1,2*, Jue Lin3, Elissa Epel4, Kyle Lapham3, Elizabeth Blackburn3, Mary A. Whooley2,5,6 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,...
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Although little is known on the impact of environment on telomere length dynamics, it has been suggested to be affected by stress, lifestyle and/or life-history strategies of animals. We here compared telomere dynamics in erythrocytes of hatchlings and fledglings of the brood parasite great spotted cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) and of magpies (Pica pica), their main host in Europe. In magpie chicks, telomere length decreased from hatching to fledging, whereas no significant change in telomere...
Published 07/14/2015    Read More...
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) clusters risk factors for age-related conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Shorter telomere length (TL), a cellular marker for biological age, may predict an individual's deteriorating metabolic condition....
Published 12/06/2014    Read More...
Human age-dependent telomere attrition and telomere shortening are associated with several age-associated diseases and poorer overall survival. The aim of this study was to determine longitudinal leucocyte telomere length dynamics and identify factors associated with temporal changes in telomere length....
Published 11/05/2013    Read More...
Trisomies 18 and 21 are genetic disorders in which cells possess an extra copy of each of the relevant chromosomes. Individuals with these disorders who survive birth generally have a shortened life expectancy. As telomeres are known to play an important role in the maintenance of genomic integrity by protecting the chromosomal ends, we conducted a study to determine whether there are differences in telomere length at birth between individuals with trisomy and diploidy, and between trisomic...
Published 09/29/2013    Read More...
Occupational exposure to pesticides in tobacco fields causes genetic damage in farmers. The aim of this study was to analyze tobacco farmers chronically exposed to low doses of pesticides and nicotine (present in the tobacco leaves) in relation to absolute telomere length (aTL), and explore the influence of lifestyle characteristics, oxidative stress, and inorganic element levels. DNA was isolated from peripheral blood samples from agricultural workers and non-exposed individuals, and aTL was...
Published 10/01/2015    Read More...
The Scientist The ends of linear chromosomes have attracted serious scientific study—and Nobel Prizes—since the early 20th century. Called telomeres, these ends serve to protect the coding DNA of the genome. When a cell’s telomeres shorten to critical lengths, the cell senesces. Thus, telomeres dictate a cell’s...
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Telomeres protect from DNA degradation and maintain chromosomal stability. Short telomeres have been associated with an increased risk of cancer at several sites. However, there is limited knowledge about the lifestyle determinants of telomere length. We aimed to determine the effect of three factors, known to be important in cancer etiology, on relative leukocyte telomere length (rLTL): alcohol consumption, smoking, and physical activity....
Published 12/09/2015    Read More...
Authors: L L. Zhang, X-Z XZ. Hu, D M DM. Benedek, C S CS. Fullerton, R D RD. Forsten, J A JA. Naifeh, X X. Li, H H. Li, K N KN. Benevides, S S. Smerin, T T. Le, K K. Choi, R J RJ. Ursano Published: 11/05/2013, ...
Published 11/05/2013    Read More...
ScienceDirect Abstract Background 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...
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Most human populations are undergoing a demographic transition regarding their age structure. This transition is reflected in chronic non-communicable diseases featuring among the main contributors to burden of disease. Considering that the aging process is a major risk factor for such conditions, understanding the mechanisms underlying aging and age-related diseases is critical to develop strategies to impact human health at population and/or individual-levels. Two different aspects of aging...
Published 10/08/2013    Read More...
Strong evidence supports that living in disadvantaged neighborhoods has direct unfavorable impact on mental and physical health. However, whether it also has direct impact on cellular health is largely unknown. Thus we examined whether neighborhood quality was associated with leukocyte telomere length, an indicator of cellular aging....
Published 06/17/2015    Read More...
Telomeres, DNA-protein structures at chromosome ends, shorten with age, and telomere length has been linked to age-related diseases and survival. In vitro studies revealed that the shortest telomeres trigger cell senescence, but whether the shortest telomeres are also the best biomarker of ageing is not known. We measured telomeres in erythrocytes of wild common terns Sterna hirundo using terminal restriction fragment analysis. This yields a distribution of telomere lengths for each sample, and...
Published 12/28/2013    Read More...
Background 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. Methods We used data...
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The detection of sperm DNA damage, as an important supplement to semen routine examination strategies, has been applied in some clinical andrology laboratories. What factors may lead to sperm DNA damage remains one of the concerns among many andrologists. Present studies show a variety of factors of sperm DNA damage, including age, environmental pollutants such as organophosphorus and organochloride pesticides, plasticizer, heavy metals such as lead, carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic...
Published 10/07/2015    Read More...