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Telomeric Theory - Those Damn Mice

Excelife excelife at earthlink.net
Mon Sep 7 15:50:04 EST 1998

In article <35f3ea8a.209981486 at nntp.ix.netcom.com>, ufotruth at ix.netcom.com 
>Thomas Mahoney,
>Thanks very much for posting the interesting and facinating
>information! At least now we know that telomerase "Knock Out" mice do
>not invalidate the telomeric theory of aging.
>I do have a couple of questions though. If you would answer them I
>would greatly appreciate it:
>1) Since we now know that telomere shortening probably does have a
>negative effect on the aging of mice why doesn't an organization,
>university, or company make some telomerase (Knock-In) mice that would
>have telomerase activiated in all of their cells?

I think I've tried to answer this question before.  There is undoubtedly much 
research being conducted in this area but no results have yet been published.

I do wish that it were as simple as that but it is highly unlikely.  I will 
soon be posting an article on the problems and obstacles that this research 
may encounter and that should help answer some of your questions.


>If this was done we could see if the elimination of telomere
>shortening from the mouse could rejuvinate them or keep them from
>aging past the optimal healthy point of their life.

If telomeric shortening can be shown to be the causative factor of cellular 
senescence and other age-related genetic expression and that these processes 
themselves were determinant of organismic health and longevity then maybe...

>Once I read somewhere that a mouse would not be the best organism to
>try and immortalize through some form of telomeric therapy. But we now
>know that telomeres do shorten in mice and that the reason why "Knock
>Out" mice without telomerase do not have problems is because they have
>another gene that regulates their telomeres. So it seems to me that it
>would be a very interesting experiment to see if we could increase the
>life span or rejuvinate a mouse through some form of telomeric

I, too, would like to see the results of an experiment like this.  I have 
doubts as to how successful it might be but the results would be fascinating 
and give us some insight into how to proceed with additional experimentation.

>2) If scientists inserted the telomerase gene into the cells of a
>mouse would it enlongate the telomeres of the mice or would the gene
>that mice have that regulates telomere length possibly block the

Now you're thinking!  That is a very good possibility, although Geron's 
experiments did not show any problems when they inserted hTERT into normal 
cells in culture.  Is there some central mechanism regulating telomeric 
length throughout the body or will the cells maintenance processes pick up 
elongated telomeres as a defect?  These all all questions that need to be 
addressed and I will go into them in more detail in a later post.


Thomas Mahoney, Pres.
Lifeline Laboratories, Inc.

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