Growth acceleration results in faster telomere shortening later in life

Salmón, P. , Millet, C., Selman, C. and Monaghan, P. (2021) Growth acceleration results in faster telomere shortening later in life. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 288(1956), 20211118. (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2021.1118) (PMID:34375555)

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Abstract

There is a wealth of evidence for a lifespan penalty when environmental conditions influence an individual's growth trajectory, such that growth rate is accelerated to attain a target size within a limited time period. Given this empirically demonstrated relationship between accelerated growth and lifespan, and the links between lifespan and telomere dynamics, increased telomere loss could underpin this growth–lifespan trade. We experimentally modified the growth trajectory of nestling zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), inducing a group of nestlings to accelerate their growth between 7 and 15 days of age, the main phase of body growth. We then sequentially measured their telomere length in red blood cells at various time points from 7 days to full adulthood (120 days). Accelerated growth between 7 and 15 days was not associated with a detectable increase in telomere shortening during this period compared with controls. However, only in the treatment group induced to show growth acceleration was the rate of growth during the experimental period positively related to the amount of telomere shortening between 15 and 120 days. Our findings provide evidence of a long-term influence of growth rate on later-life telomere shortening, but only when individuals have accelerated growth in response to environmental circumstances.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Monaghan, Professor Pat and Selman, Professor Colin and Millet, Dr Caroline and Salmon, Dr Pablo
Creator Roles:
Salmón, P.Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Millet, C.Data curation, Investigation, Methodology, Writing – review and editing
Selman, C.Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Project administration, Supervision, Writing – review and editing
Monaghan, P.Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Project administration, Supervision, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Salmón, P., Millet, C., Selman, C., and Monaghan, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Data DOI:10.5061/dryad.d51c59zzn

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
174157Mechanisms underlying the growth-lifespan trade-offPatricia MonaghanLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)RPG-2017-061Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine