With a view to understanding the association between leukocyte telomere length and the human lifespan, we performed genome-wide telomere length analyses by the terminal restriction fragment length (TRFL) and single molecule telomere length analysis (STELA) of the X and Y chromosomes in leukocytes of exceptionally old (aged 90-104 yr) and younger (aged 23-74 yr) individuals. We found that the mean TRFL of 82 exceptionally old individuals was within a range projected by age-dependent TRFL attrition of 99 younger individuals. However, compared with the younger individuals, exceptionally old persons exhibited peaking of the TRFL distribution with overrepresentation of ultra-short telomeres. These findings were confirmed by the STELA. Women had longer mean TRFL than men (6.10 vs. 5.86 kb), and exceptionally old women exhibited fewer ultra-short telomeres than exceptionally old men. Our results have implications for gerontological studies of the limitation of lifespan in humans.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology : Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2007|