Telomeres: New players in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases?

J Autoimmun. 2021 Sep;123:102699. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2021.102699. Epub 2021 Jul 13.


Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences located at the ends of linear chromosomes that preserve the integrity and stability of the genome. Telomere dysfunctions due to short telomeres or altered telomere structures can ultimately lead to replicative cellular senescence and chromosomal instability, both mechanisms being hallmarks of ageing. Chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and finally telomere length (TL) dynamics have been shown to be involved in various age-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs), including affections such as inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis and uveitis belong to this group of age-related NCDs. Although in recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of studies in the literature linking these IMIDs to TL dynamics, the causality between these diseases and telomere attrition is still unclear and controversial. In this review, we provide an overview of available studies on telomere dynamics and discuss the utility of TL measurements in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

Keywords: Dynamics; Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases; Telomere.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't