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Three-dimensional quantitative imaging of telomeres in buccal cells identifies mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer's disease patients.

Authors: Shubha S. Mathur, Aleksandra A. Glogowska, Elizabeth E. McAvoy, Christiaan C. Righolt, Jaclyn J. Rutherford, Cornelia C. Willing, Upama U. Banik, Myuri M. Ruthirakuhan, Sabine S. Mai, Angeles A. Garcia
Published: 01/13/2014, Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD


Using three-dimensional (3D) telomeric analysis of buccal cells of 82 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and cognitively normal age and gender-matched controls, we have for the first time examined changes in the 3D nuclear telomeric architecture of buccal cells among levels of AD severity based on five 3D parameters: i) telomere length, ii) telomere number, iii) telomere aggregation, iv) nuclear volume, and v) a/c ratio, a measure of spatial telomere distribution. Our data indicate that matched controls have significantly different 3D telomere profiles compared to mild, moderate, and severe AD patients (p < 0.0001). Distinct profiles were also evident for each AD severity group. An increase in telomere number and aggregation concomitant with a decrease in telomere length from normal to severe AD defines the individual stages of the disease (p < 0.0001).

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