It is known that the shortening of the telomeres leads to cell senescence, accompanied by acquiring of pro-inflammatory phenotype. The expression of telomerase can elongate telomeres and resist the onset of senescence. The initiation of atherosclerosis is believed to be associated with local senescence of the endothelial cells of the arteries in places with either low or multidirectional oscillatory wall shear stress. The process of regeneration of the artery surface that has begun does not lead to success for several reasons. Atherosclerotic plaques are formed, which, when developed, lead to fatal consequences, which are the leading causes of death in the modern world. The pronounced age dependence of the manifestations of atherosclerosis pushes scientists to try to link the development of atherosclerosis with telomere length. The study of the role of telomere shortening in atherosclerosis is mainly limited to measuring the telomeres of blood cells, and only in rare cases (surgery or post-mortem examination) are the telomeres of local cells available for measurement. The review discusses the basic issues of cellular aging and the interpretation of telomere measurement data in atherosclerosis, as well as the prospects for the prevention and possible treatment of atherosclerosis.
Keywords: LTL; atherosclerosis; cell senescence; telomerase; telomeres.