[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Age-related cognitive decline begins in mid-life and continues with advancing age. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shortens with age, and inflammation and oxidative stress enhance this process. Shorter LTL is associated with dementia.
The relationship between cognitive function and LTL was investigated in a cross-sectional study of 382 women (mean age 50.6 years, range 19-78), not diagnosed with any form of dementia or cognitive impairment, from the TwinsUK cohort using six tests from the Cambridge neuropsychological test automated battery (CANTAB).
After adjusting for age and estimated prior intellectual ability, we observed significant correlations of LTL with episodic memory and associated learning (PAL, p=0.032), recognition memory for non-verbal patterns (DMS, p=0.007), and working memory capacity (SSP, p=0.003). In pairs of twins discordant for LTL the twin with longer telomeres also had significantly better DMS (p<0.05) and SSP (p<0.013) scores than their co-twin with shorter telomeres. The correlations between these two scores and LTL was significant both in women over the median mean age and in those below the median age, and remained significant after statistical adjustment for potential confounders.
Leukocyte telomere length correlates with a subset of measures of cognitive performance, suggesting that it might be a biomarker of cognitive aging in women before the onset of dementia.
Neurobiology of aging 09/2008; 31(6):986-92. · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mean terminal restriction fragment (TRF) lengths in white blood cells (WBCs) have been previously found to be associated with breast cancer. To assess whether this marker could be used as a test for breast cancer susceptibility in women, TRF length was measured in 72 treated female breast cancer patients and 1696 unaffected female controls between the ages of 45 and 77 from the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas' Hospital, as well as 140 newly diagnosed breast cancer cases and 108 mammographically screened unaffected controls from Guy's Hospital. Mean TRF was also tested for correlation with chromosome radiosensitivity and apoptotic response in the Guy's Hospital patients. After adjusting for age, smoking and body mass index, there was no significant difference in TRF lengths between the treated breast cancer patients and unaffected controls (P=0.71). A positive correlation between age-adjusted apoptotic response and mean TRF in newly diagnosed untreated breast cancer patients (P=0.008) was identified but no significant difference in TRF lengths between breast cancer patients and unaffected controls was detected (P=0.53). This suggests that TRF lengths in WBC, is not a marker of breast cancer susceptibility and does not vary significantly between affected women before and after treatment.
British Journal of Cancer 01/2008; 97(12):1696-700. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aneuploidy and telomere length are two major parameters that have been associated with cellular senescence in vitro. In order to explore the role of aneuploidy and telomere length in aging of the human vasculature, we studied these two parameters in direct preparations of endothelial cells of the human abdominal aorta.
Using fluorescent in situ hybridization on 'touch prep' slides, we evaluated aneuploidy of two autosomes (chromosomes 6 and 16) and sex chromosomes in non cultured endothelial cells of the abdominal aorta as a function of the donor's age.
We found that the frequency of aneuploidy of vascular endothelial cells significantly increased with age. This was expressed by age-dependent tetrasomy (r(s)=0.56, P=0.006 for chromosome 6; and r(s)=0.54, P=0.008 for chromosome 16), and age dependent loss of the Y chromosome (r(s)=0.85, P=0.0003). In addition, we found that telomere length was inversely correlated with age (r=-0.38, P=0.008). DATA INTERPRETATION: These findings suggest that indicators of cellular senescence, earlier observed in vitro, are also expressed in the human vascular endothelium in vivo. Aneuploidy and telomere attrition might thus play a role in the aging of the human vasculature.