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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2018 Mar 5;373(1741). pii: 20160441. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0441.

Characterization in humans of in vitro leucocyte maximal telomerase activity capacity and association with stress.

Author information

1
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Institute of Medical Psychology, Berlin, Germany.
2
Department of Biobehavioral Health, College of Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, PA, USA.
3
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Department of Experimental Neurology and Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB), Berlin, Germany.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA pwadhwa@uci.edu.
5
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.
6
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.
7
Department of Epidemiology, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.
8
Development, Health and Disease Research Program, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.
9
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Institute of Medical Psychology, Berlin, Germany sonja.entringer@charite.de.

Abstract

The goal of this study was to develop and validate a measure of maximal telomerase activity capacity (mTAC) for use in human studies of telomere biology, and to determine its association with measures of stress and stress responsivity. The study was conducted in a population of 28 healthy young women and men who were assessed serially across two separate days, at multiple time points, and in response to a standardized laboratory stressor. Venous blood was collected at each of these multiple assessments, and an in vitro mitogen challenge (phytohaemagglutinin supplemented with interleukin-2) was used to stimulate telomerase activity in leucocytes. After first establishing the optimal post-stimulation time course to characterize mTAC, we determined the within-subject stability and the between-subject variability of mTAC. The major findings of our study are as follows: (i) the optimal time point to quantify human leucocyte mTAC appears to be at 72 h after mitogen stimulation; (ii) mTAC exhibits substantial within-subject stability (correlations were in the range of r 0.68-0.82) and between-subject variability, with a high intra-class coefficient (0.70), indicating greater between-subject relative to within-subject variability; (iii) mTAC is not influenced by situational factors including time of day, cortisol, acute stress exposure and immune cell distribution in the pre-stimulation blood sample; and (iv) a significant proportion of the between-subject variability in mTAC is associated with measures of stress and stress responsivity (mTAC is lower in subjects reporting higher levels of perceived (chronic) stress and exhibiting higher psychophysiological stress reactivity). Based collectively on these findings, it appears that mTAC, as proposed and operationalized, empirically meets the key criteria to represent a potentially useful individual difference measure of telomerase activity capacity of human leucocytes.This article is part of the theme issue 'Understanding diversity in telomere dynamics'.

KEYWORDS:

leucocytes; phytohaemagglutinin; stress; telomerase activity

PMID:
29335365
PMCID:
PMC5784061
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2016.0441
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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