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PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21485. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021485. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Blood cell telomere length is a dynamic feature.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Abstract

There is a considerable heterogeneity in blood cell telomere length (TL) for individuals of similar age and recent studies have revealed that TL changes by time are dependent on TL at baseline. TL is partly inherited, but results from several studies indicate that e.g. life style and/or environmental factors can affect TL during life. Collectively, these studies imply that blood cell TL might fluctuate during a life time and that the actual TL at a defined time point is the result of potential regulatory mechanism(s) and environmental factors. We analyzed relative TL (RTL) in subsequent blood samples taken six months apart from 50 individuals and found significant associations between RTL changes and RTL at baseline. Individual RTL changes per month were more pronounced than the changes recorded in a previously studied population analyzed after 10 years' follow up. The data argues for an oscillating TL pattern which levels out at longer follow up times. In a separate group of five blood donors, a marked telomere loss was demonstrated within a six month period for one donor where after TL was stabilized. PCR determined RTL changes were verified by Southern blotting and STELA (single telomere elongation length analysis). The STELA demonstrated that for the donor with a marked telomere loss, the heterogeneity of the telomere distribution decreased considerably, with a noteworthy loss of the largest telomeres. In summary, the collected data support the concept that individual blood cell telomere length is a dynamic feature and this will be important to recognize in future studies of human telomere biology.

PMID:
21720548
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3123359
Free PMC Article

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