Objective: To investigate the telomerase activity and the telomere length in CD4(+), CD8(+) and CD19(+) lymphocytes from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: Telomerase activity of CD4(+), CD8(+) and CD19(+) cells from patients with SLE and normal controls was examined by telomeric repeats amplification protocol. Telomere length in those cells was measured by Southern blot method.
Result: CD4(+), CD8(+) and CD19(+) cells in patients with SLE showed high telomerase activity, but only telomerase activity of CD19(+) cells was significantly higher than that in controls. The length of telomere in CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells was significantly shorter than that in controls, but not in CD19(+) cells.
Conclusion: Higher telomerase activity in CD19(+) cells and shortened telomere length in CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells of patients with SLE may be associated with pathogenesis of SLE.