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Eur Heart J. 2008 Nov;29(21):2689-94. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehn386. Epub 2008 Sep 1.

Blood leucocyte telomere DNA content predicts vascular telomere DNA content in humans with and without vascular disease.

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1
Department of Surgery, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

Abstract

AIMS:

Previous studies have suggested that reduced telomere length in circulating leucocytes in humans is associated with premature vascular disease and by implication, accelerated vascular ageing. Importantly, a link between telomere length in circulating leucocytes and the blood vessel wall has never been established. We, thus, investigated the relationship between vascular wall and circulating leucocyte telomere length in humans with and without overt vascular disease.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Aortic biopsies and paired blood leucocytes were obtained from 20 patients with asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), undergoing elective open repair, and 12 morphologically normal aortas from a group of cadaveric organ donors of similar mean age. Telomere content was compared by quantitative PCR and expressed as telomere:genomic DNA ratio. The telomere:genomic DNA content was significantly reduced in wall biopsies of AAA vs. normal aorta, and this difference remained after adjusting for age and gender. There were strong correlations between leucocyte and vascular telomere content when the AAA and control groups were analysed either separately or grouped irrespective of the presence of vascular disease (r = 0.62, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

The findings demonstrate that leucocyte DNA content is predictive of vascular telomere content and is an accurate surrogate for human vascular age.

PMID:
18762552
DOI:
10.1093/eurheartj/ehn386
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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