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Telomeric Theory - Growth Factors

Excelife excelife at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 24 00:59:38 EST 1998

In article <3609c184.21269618 at nntp.ix.netcom.com>, ufotruth at ix.netcom.com 
>Thomas Mahoney,
>Your post was very interesting and informative but I do have a couple
>of questions.
>1) Do you think that if all the cells in an older human body were
>immortalized by the telomerase gene, and their telomeres elongated,
>that the cells would start making "growth factors" at the level of a
>younger individual?

That's a good question and the answer is I hope so!  It is suggested that 
this may be the case since human cells treated with hTRT show a 
phenotypically youthful state but whether this encompasses the appropriate 
expression of the genes for the various growth factors remains to be seen.  
However, most growth factors are normally silenced after embryonic 
development so, I would think, these would not be affected by this process.

>2) Where in the human body are all of these growth factors produced?
>Are they produced in individual cells? (I realize this is most likely
>a dumb question because probably there are many different types of
>growth factors and they are produced in many different organs and
>tissues. So if it is a dumb question just say so and I will not be

Wayne A. Price, MD, Alan D. Stiles, MD, in Current Opinion in Pediatrics 
1994, 6:135-141, show that growth factors are primarily involved in embryonic 
development and play a substantial role in "cellular proliferation, 
differentiation, and migration within tissues."  The genes coding for these 
growth factors are present in every cell but are normally silenced after the 
cells have terminally differentiated. (Note: growth factors are expressed on 
numerous other occasions like wound repair etc...)

>3) If someone managed to immortalize every single cell of a human
>being and elongated his or her telomeres is it possible, that if
>telomere elongation could restore youthful levels of growth factors,
>that unwanted side effects could occur? For example. I am an 18 year
>old male. When I was 12 years old I grew 13 inches in one year. If
>when I am lets say 30 years old I have all of the cells in my body
>immortalized and their telomeres elongated to the lengths they were
>when I was 18 years old, could that, even possibly, cause me to have
>another growth spurt which I would NOT want or need?

If, as the research seems to suggest, telomeric length is a factor in age 
related genetic expression then these effects would have to controlled.

In Gerons' 98 study telomerase was activated by hTRT and this appeared to 
maintain telomeric length without significant elongation.  This would seem to 
say that the genes expressed would also remain constant.

Additional studies need to be conducted to see if telomerase activity 
elongates telomeres over time and/or in vivo.  If telomeric lengthening does 
occur and this length is related to genetic expression then there may be some 
unintended consequences.

This becomes even more of a concern if various cellular systems react 
independently to telomerase and end up with telomeres of significantly 
different lengths.  Since many of these systems are inter-connected and 
dependant on each other they need to be reading from the same play book.
If they are expressing genes from different developmental stages there could 
be problems.

So far as growth factors, it is unlikely that the telomeres would be 
elongated to the extent of causing the expression of embryonic genes. Also, 
there are other cellular mechanisms that are involved in the expression of 
genes that would likely not allow this to occur.  So while it it doesn't 
appear that growth factors would be a major problem other age related 
processes may be negatively impacted.

>And everyone, here is a comparison that poped into my head a while
>back that I would like to share with all of you:
>If aging was a throat infection anti-oxidants, caloric restriction,
>and beneficial nutrients would be a throat lozenge. But telomeric
>therapy to elongate the telomeres would be an anti-biotic.

Excellent analogy;-)

Thomas Mahoney, Pres.
Lifeline Laboratories, Inc.

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