Is Telomere Length a Biomarker of Aging? A Review

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011 Feb;66(2):202-13. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glq180. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

Abstract

Telomeres, the DNA-protein structures located at the ends of chromosomes, have been proposed to act as a biomarker of aging. In this review, the human evidence that telomere length is a biomarker of aging is evaluated. Although telomere length is implicated in cellular aging, the evidence suggesting telomere length is a biomarker of aging in humans is equivocal. More studies examining the relationships between telomere length and mortality and with measures that decline with "normal" aging in community samples are required. These studies would benefit from longitudinal measures of both telomere length and aging-related parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics
  • Cognition*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Telomerase / metabolism
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Telomere / metabolism*

Substances

  • Biomarkers
  • Telomerase