Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Biotechnol. 1998 Aug;16(8):743-7.

Telomere length dynamics in human lymphocyte subpopulations measured by flow cytometry.

Author information

  • 1Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada.


To measure the average length of telomere repeats at chromosome ends in individual cells we developed a flow cytometry method using fluorescence in situ hybridization (flow FISH) with labeled peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes. Results of flow FISH measurements correlated with results of conventional telomere length measurements by Southern blot analysis (R = 0.9). Consistent differences in telomere length in CD8+ T-cell subsets were identified. Naive and memory CD4+ T lymphocytes in normal adults differed by around 2.5 kb in telomere length, in agreement with known replicative shortening of telomeres in lymphocytes in vivo. T-cell clones grown in vitro showed stabilization of telomere length after an initial decline and rare clones capable of growing beyond 100 population doublings showed variable telomere length. These results show that flow FISH can be used to measure specific nucleotide repeat sequences in single cells and indicate that the very large replicative potential of lymphocytes is only indirectly related to telomere length.

Comment in

  • FISH goes with the flow. [Nat Biotechnol. 1998]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk