Wild-derived inbred mouse strains have short telomeres

Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Nov 15;28(22):4474-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/28.22.4474.


Telomere length and telomerase activity directly affect the replicative capacity of primary human cells. Some have suggested that telomere length influences organismal lifespan. We compared telomere length distributions in a number of inbred and outbred established mouse strains with those of strains recently derived from wild mice. Telomere length was considerably shorter in wild-derived strains than in the established strains. We found no correlation of telomere length with lifespan, even among closely related inbred mouse strains. Thus, while telomere length plays a role in cellular lifespan in cultured human cells, it is not a major factor in determining organismal lifespan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Muridae
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Telomere / genetics*


  • DNA