Telomerase activity in patients with stage 2-5D chronic kidney disease

Nefrologia. Nov-Dec 2017;37(6):592-597. doi: 10.1016/j.nefro.2017.03.025. Epub 2017 Jul 11.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Background: Molecular mechanisms of increased cardiovascular mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD) associated with biological age are not well understood. Recent studies support the hypothesis that common factors responsible for this phenomenon are cellular aging and telomere dysfunction.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between telomerase activity and CKD stages.

Methods: The study included 120 patients who were followed-up for CKD stage 2-5D, composed of 30 patients of each stage and 30 healthy volunteers without any known disease who were admitted to our hospital for routine check-ups. Telomerase activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was measured using the TRAP assay.

Results: A significant difference was observed for telomerase activity in PBMC between groups. The detected levels were lowest in the healthy control group (0.15±0.02), and highest in CKD stage 5D patients (0.23±0.04). In CKD patients, telomerase activity in PBMC was positively correlated with the CKD stage, serum creatinine, potassium and parathormone levels, and negatively correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), body mass index (BMI), platelet count and serum calcium levels. According to the linear regression analysis, independent predictors for high telomerase activity in CKD patients were eGFR and BMI.

Conclusion: Telomerase activity in PBMC increases with advancing CKD stage in CKD patients. Increased telomerase activity in PBMC is associated with eGFR and BMI.

Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Enfermedad renal crónica; Etapa; Stage; Telomerasa; Telomerase.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / enzymology*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Potassium / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / enzymology*
  • Telomerase / blood*


  • Lipids
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Creatinine
  • Telomerase
  • Potassium