Telomere shortening in blood leukocytes of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder

J Psychiatr Res. 2019 Apr:111:83-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2019.01.018. Epub 2019 Jan 21.


Telomeres are protective fragments on chromosome ends involved in maintaining genome stability, preventing chromosomal fusions, regulation of cell division. It was shown that telomere attrition rate is accelerated in age-related diseases, as well as in response to physiological and psychosocial stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate relative leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in patients with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as to investigate association of functional SNPs of telomerase TERC and TERT genes with LTL and PTSD. The relative LTL was measured by multiplex quantitative PCR method; genotyping of TERC rs12696304, TERT rs7726159 and rs2736100 was performed by PCR with sequence specific primers. Comparison of LTL in diseased and healthy subjects showed that PTSD patients had shorter average LTL than controls. Also, the frequency and the carriage rate of the TERT rs2736100*T allele was higher in PTSD patients compared to controls. Overall our results are in line with previous research in different populations. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that rs2736100 of TERT gene was significantly associated with PTSD and the minor allele of this polymorphism may be considered as a risk factor for PTSD in the Armenian population.

Keywords: PCR-SSP; PTSD; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Relative leukocyte telomere length; SNPs; TERC; TERT; Telomerase; qPCR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Armenia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • RNA / genetics*
  • Risk
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / blood*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / enzymology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / genetics*
  • Telomerase / genetics*
  • Telomere Shortening / genetics*


  • telomerase RNA
  • RNA
  • TERT protein, human
  • Telomerase