Article: article from journal or magazin.
Telomere fluorescence measurements in granulocytes and T lymphocyte subsets point to a high turnover of hematopoietic stem cells and memory T cells in early childhood.
Journal of Experimental Medicine
To study telomere length dynamics in hematopoietic cells with age, we analyzed the average length of telomere repeat sequences in diverse populations of nucleated blood cells. More than 500 individuals ranging in age from 0 to 90 yr, including 36 pairs of monozygous and dizygotic twins, were analyzed using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization and flow cytometry. Granulocytes and naive T cells showed a parallel biphasic decline in telomere length with age that most likely reflected accumulated cell divisions in the common precursors of both cell types: hematopoietic stem cells. Telomere loss was very rapid in the first year, and continued for more than eight decades at a 30-fold lower rate. Memory T cells also showed an initial rapid decline in telomere length with age. However, in contrast to naive T cells, this decline continued for several years, and in older individuals lymphocytes typically had shorter telomeres than did granulocytes. Our findings point to a dramatic decline in stem cell turnover in early childhood and support the notion that cell divisions in hematopoietic stem cells and T cells result in loss of telomeric DNA.
Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging/genetics, Aging/pathology, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Flow Cytometry, Granulocytes/cytology, Hematopoietic Stem Cells/cytology, Humans, Immunologic Memory, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Middle Aged, T-Lymphocyte Subsets/cytology, T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology, Telomere/genetics, Terminal Repeat Sequences, Twins, Dizygotic/genetics, Twins, Monozygotic/genetics
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