Telomere Science Library

Publications, Presentations, and Videos
about the Nobel-Prize Winning Science of Telomere Biology

Telomere length in the two extremes of abnormal fetal growth and the programming effect of maternal arterial hypertension.

Authors: Mariana M. Tellechea, Tomas Fernandéz TF. Gianotti, Jorge J. Alvariñas, Claudio D CD. González, Silvia S. Sookoian, Carlos J CJ. Pirola
Published: 01/19/2015, Scientific reports


We tested the hypothesis that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with birth weight in both extremes of abnormal fetal growth: small (SGA) and large for gestational age newborns (LGA). Clinical and laboratory variables of the mothers and the neonates were explored; 45 newborns with appropriate weight for gestational age (AGA), 12 SGA and 12 LGA were included. Whether the differences might be explained by variation in OBFC1 (rs9419958) and CTC1 (rs3027234) genes associated with LTL was determined. A significant association between birth weight and LTL was observed; LTL was significantly shorter in LGA newborns (1.01 ± 0.12) compared with SGA (1.73 ± 0.19) p < 0.005, mean ± SE. Maternal (Spearman R = -0.6, p = 0.03) and neonatal LTL (R = -0.25, p = 0.03) were significantly and inversely correlated with maternal history of arterial hypertension in previous gestations. Neonatal LTL was not significantly associated with either rs9419950 or rs3027234, suggesting that the association between neonatal LTL and birth weight is not influenced by genetic variation in genes that modify the interindividual LTL. In conclusion, telomere biology seems to be modulated by abnormal fetal growth; modifications in telomere length might be programmed by an adverse environment in utero.

PubMed Full Text