Rapid telomere shortening in children.


Journal Article

Telomere shortening may reflect the total number of divisions experienced by a somatic cell and is associated with replicative senescence. We found that the average rate of telomere shortening in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained longitudinally from nine different infants during the first 3 years of life (270 bp per year) is more than fourfold higher than in adults and does not correlate with telomerase activity. These results show that the rate of telomere loss changes during ontogeny, suggesting the existence of periods of accelerated cell division. Because human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) preferentially infects actively dividing cells, our observation suggesting accelerated cell division in children may provide an explanation for some of the distinctive pathogenic features of the HIV disease in infants, including higher viral loads and more rapid progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zeichner, SL; Palumbo, P; Feng, Y; Xiao, X; Gee, D; Sleasman, J; Goodenow, M; Biggar, R; Dimitrov, D

Published Date

  • May 1, 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 93 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 2824 - 2830

PubMed ID

  • 10216076

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10216076

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-4971


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States