Repeated exposure to challenging environmental conditions influences telomere dynamics across adult life as predicted by changes in mortality risk

Marasco, V., Boner, W. , Griffiths, K., Heidinger, B. and Monaghan, P. (2021) Repeated exposure to challenging environmental conditions influences telomere dynamics across adult life as predicted by changes in mortality risk. FASEB Journal, 35(8), e21743. (doi: 10.1096/fj.202100556R) (PMID:34192361)

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Abstract

The effects of stress exposure are likely to vary depending on life-stage and stressor. While it has been postulated that mild stress exposure may have beneficial effects, the duration of such effects and the underlying mechanisms are unclear. While the long-term effects of early-life stress are relatively well studied, we know much less about the effects of exposure in adulthood since the early- and adult-life environments are often similar. We previously reported that repeated experimental exposure to a relatively mild stressor in female zebra finches, first experienced in young adulthood, initially had no effect on mortality risk, reduced mortality in middle age, but the apparently beneficial effects disappeared in old age. We show here that this is underpinned by differences between the control and stress-exposed group in the pattern of telomere change, with stress-exposed birds showing reduced telomere loss in middle adulthood. We thereby provide novel experimental evidence that telomere dynamics play a key role linking stress resilience and aging.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boner, Dr Winnie and Marasco, Dr Valeria and Monaghan, Professor Pat and Griffiths, Mrs Kate
Authors: Marasco, V., Boner, W., Griffiths, K., Heidinger, B., and Monaghan, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:FASEB Journal
Publisher:Federation of American Society of Experimental Biology
ISSN:0892-6638
ISSN (Online):1530-6860
Published Online:30 June 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in FASEB Journal 35(8):e21743
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
164901The ecological significance of telomere dynamics:environments, individuals and inheritancePatricia MonaghanEuropean Research Council (ERC)20100317/FP7-268926Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
173866Effect of circadian disruption on telomere dynamicsPatricia MonaghanBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/P009174/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine