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Current Research Into Telomeres III

Tom Matthews tmatth at netcom.ca
Tue Sep 1 23:23:54 EST 1998

Excelife wrote:

> Dr R. Effros at U.C.L.A. is researching the effects of telomeric shortening
> on the T-Cells in the immunological systems of the elderly.  Her observations
> include the dominance of senescent "memory" T-cells in aged individuals

To be precise, are you saying that Rita Effros has found that the
*majority* of memory T-cells are now longer able to divide and produce
more such T-cells? Do you have a reference for this? 

> which
> may "prevent renewal of the T-cell pool with more functional T-cells".  The
> implications being that the restoration of replicative capacity in those
> T-cells that are approaching senescence could have the effect of restoring
> functioning of some parts of the immunological system in the elderly.

Or since now you say "are approaching senescence" do you mean that she
found that the T-cells had reduced replicative ability in older people?
(which would not necessarily be related to any telomere shortening).
> Rawes V, Kipling D, Kill IR and Faragher RG at The University of Brighton,
> UK, have demonstrated results that "suggest that the process of senescence is
> a common feature of different cell lineages but that the specific rate can
> differ between them."

Do they mean different "rate" or after a different number of divisions?

> Thus the cell lines constituting the endothelial cells
> in the vascular system may be experiencing telomeric loss faster than other
> cell lines in the body.  This may be a factor underlying age-related
> "disease" progression in some systems of the body.

Certainly, because division "rate" is highly different in different
dividing systems and under different life, and health (sometimes
disease) conditions.
> Tahara H, et al, at Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Japan,
> demonstrated that "a significant proportion of WRN, (Werner's syndrome), cell
> strains showed drastic shortening or lengthening of telomere lengths during
> cell passages compared with normal cell strains"  This confirms earlier
> studies that Werner's syndrome and the childhood aging disease progeria
> result from errors in the system(s) that maintain telomeric length.

But it doesn't say anthing about whether these diseases are related to
normal aging.
Sorry, to be always playing the "skeptic", Tom.
I found your post to be most interesting, as usual.
Tom Matthews
The LIFE EXTENSION FOUNDATION - http://www.lef.org - 800-544-4440 
A non-profit membership organization dedicated to the extension
of the healthy human lifespan through ground breaking research,
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