Is the mean blood leukocyte telomere length a predictor for sporadic thoracic aortic aneurysm? Data from a preliminary study

Rejuvenation Res. 2012 Apr;15(2):170-3. doi: 10.1089/rej.2011.1273.


Telomeres have been postulated as a universal clock that shortens in parallel with cellular aging. They are specialized DNA-protein structures at the ends of chromosome with remarkable functions--preventing their recognition as double-stranded DNA breaks, protecting their recombination and degradation, and avoiding a DNA damage cellular response. Telomere shortening is currently considered the best aging marker, but is also a predictor for age-related diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. Biological age clearly seems to be a better predictor of vascular risk rather than chronological age. This concept is supported by key assumptions that peripheral blood leukocyte telomere content accurately reflects that of the vascular wall and its decrease is associated with premature vascular disease. Thus, we are analyzing whether the mean of blood leukocyte telomere length might also be a predictor for sporadic thoracic aortic aneurysm (S-TAA). The preliminary results seem to be promising. Shorter telomeres were detected in patients than in controls. Thus, mean of blood leukocyte telomere length could contribute to identify individuals at S-TAA risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / blood
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / physiopathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Damage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / cytology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Telomere / ultrastructure*
  • Vascular Diseases / metabolism


  • DNA