Does oxidative stress shorten telomeres?

Boonekamp, J. J. , Bauch, C., Mulder, E. and Verhulst, S. (2017) Does oxidative stress shorten telomeres? Biology Letters, 13(5), 20170164. (doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0164) (PMID:28468913) (PMCID:PMC5454244)

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Oxidative stress shortens telomeres in cell culture, but whether oxidative stress explains variation in telomere shortening in vivo at physiological oxidative stress levels is not well known. We therefore tested for correlations between six oxidative stress markers and telomere attrition in nestling birds (jackdaws Corvus monedula) that show a high rate of telomere attrition in early life. Telomere attrition was measured between ages 5 and 30 days, and was highly variable (average telomere loss: 323 bp, CV = 45%). Oxidative stress markers were measured in blood at age 20 days and included markers of oxidative damage (TBARS, dROMs and GSSG) and markers of antioxidant protection (GSH, redox state, uric acid). Variation in telomere attrition was not significantly related to these oxidative stress markers (|r| ≤ 0.08, n = 87). This finding raises the question whether oxidative stress accelerates telomere attrition in vivo. The accumulation of telomere attrition over time depends both on the number of cell divisions and on the number of base pairs lost per DNA replication and, based on our findings, we suggest that in a growing animal cell proliferation, dynamics may be more important for explaining variation in telomere attrition than oxidative stress.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:J.J.B. was supported by an NWO grant no. 823.01.009 awarded to S.V. C.B. was supported by a DFG fellowship BA 5422/1-1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boonekamp, Dr Jelle
Authors: Boonekamp, J. J., Bauch, C., Mulder, E., and Verhulst, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Biology Letters
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN (Online):1744-957X
Published Online:03 May 2017

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