Aim: Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that maintains telomere length. Telomeres and telomerase are involved in cellular ageing and have been connected to some ageing related diseases, like cardiovascular disease. Telomerase dysfunction could be the main underlying mechanism in this connection but this point is still unclear. The aim of this article is to investigate the possible influence of cellular ageing, measured by two telomerase polymorphisms, TERC-63G>A (rs2293607) and TERT-1327C>T (rs2735940), on the whole spectrum of acute coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: We studied 150 middle aged men admitted for an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Cardiovascular risk factors prevalence was collected at admission. Severity variables analyzed were Killip class and number of vessels affected. Telomerase polymorphisms were studied by real time PCR in DNA samples extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes. Clinical follow-up had been developed for more than 600 days and a prognostic combined event was defined.
Results: C allele of TERT polymorphism was more prevalent among hypertensive patients (OR: 3.19; 95% CI: 1.37-7.42; P=0.006). None of polymorphisms showed any prognostic value or relation to CAD severity.
Conclusion: Telomerase dysfunction could be involved in hypertension prevalence. This finding could support new screening strategies in high risk population. The two telomerase polymorphisms analyzed did not show any prognostic value or connection to CAD severity. However, further studies are required to determine the molecular mechanisms responsible for cellular ageing in ACS.