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Does absolute telomere length have any effect on aging?

Image credit: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-03-link-telomere-length-cancer.html

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Aug 04, 2020

[1]Karlseder J. Senescence Induced by Altered Telomere State, Not Telomere Loss. Science (80- ) [Internet]. 2002 Mar 29;295(5564):2446–9. Available from: https://www.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/science.1069523

[2]Ain Q, Schmeer C, Penndorf D, Fischer M, Bondeva T, Förster M, et al. Cell cycle-dependent and -independent telomere shortening accompanies murine brain aging. Aging (Albany NY) [Internet]. 2018 Nov 20;10(11):3397–420. Available from: http://www.aging-us.com/article/101655/text

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Hyperactive telomerases could be one solution

Andrew Muchlinski
Andrew Muchlinski Aug 10, 2020
Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni6 months ago
Hi Andrew, thank you for suggestion. I am trying to better understand it. The diseases that arise due to shortened telomeres are known. However, whether the absolute telomere length (at birth) that may vary across the individuals in a population has any effect on aging is what I want to focus on. If one individual of a species has inherently longer telomeres, does that individual show less severe manifestations of age? Does that individual live longer as compared to others? Or the original length of telomeres does not matter and the loss (during the lifespan) of telomeres dictates the severity of the aging phenotype? Are you suggesting "hyperactive telomerases" as a solution to test these questions empirically? What hyperactive telomerases will do is alter the loss of telomeres that happens during the lifespan of the individual. This might not answer the question of absolute telomere length. What we might need is an observation experiment (for starters). We need to measure the lengths of telomeres of individuals within a population and correlate it with the lifespan of those individuals. Have such studies been reported?

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