Telomerase deficient mice

Thomas Mahoney excelife at
Fri Mar 26 02:30:41 EST 1999

The following is the abstract, (from Medline), of the latest in the series of 
experiments dealing with mice deficient in the gene coding for telomerase.


Cell 1999 Mar 5;96(5):701-12

Longevity, stress response, and cancer in aging telomerase-deficient mice.

Rudolph KL, Chang S, Lee HW, Blasco M, Gottlieb GJ, Greider C, DePinho RA

Department of Adult Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston,
Massachusetts 02115, USA.

[Medline record in process]

Telomere maintenance is thought to play a role in signaling cellular
senescence; however, a link with organismal aging processes has not been
established. The telomerase null mouse provides an opportunity to
understand the effects associated with critical telomere shortening at the
organismal level. We studied a variety of physiological processes in an
aging cohort of mTR-/- mice. Loss of telomere function did not elicit a
full spectrum of classical pathophysiological symptoms of aging. However,
age-dependent telomere shortening and accompanying genetic instability were
associated with shortened life span as well as a reduced capacity to
respond to stresses such as wound healing and hematopoietic ablation. In
addition, we found an increased incidence of spontaneous malignancies.
These findings demonstrate a critical role for telomere length in the
overall fitness, reserve, and well being of the aging organism.


Thomas Mahoney, Pres.
Lifeline Laboratories, Inc.

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