September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Age-related macular degeneration displays shortened telomere length indicating differential biological aging
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert Patrick Finger
    Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • Bethany Stavert
    Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Scott Booth
    Faculty of Science and Technology, Federation University, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  • Andrea Richardson
    Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Myra McGuinness
    Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Srujana Sahebjada
    Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Fadi Charchar
    Faculty of Science and Technology, Federation University, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  • Robyn H Guymer
    Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Paul N Baird
    Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Robert Finger, None; Bethany Stavert, None; Scott Booth, None; Andrea Richardson, None; Myra McGuinness, None; Srujana Sahebjada, None; Fadi Charchar, None; Robyn Guymer, None; Paul Baird, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Lloyd and Kathleen Ansell Ophthalmology Foundation and the Mankiewicz-Zelkin Fellowship of the University of Melbourne to RPF. CERA receives Operational Infrastructure Support from the Victorian Government.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, No Pagination Specified. doi:
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      Robert Patrick Finger, Bethany Stavert, Scott Booth, Andrea Richardson, Myra McGuinness, Srujana Sahebjada, Fadi Charchar, Robyn H Guymer, Paul N Baird; Age-related macular degeneration displays shortened telomere length indicating differential biological aging. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 201657(12):.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Causes for the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are not well understood and no specific intervention is available to date. Against this background we assessed the association of cellular markers of senescence and AMD to improve our understanding of relevant patho-etiological pathways.

Methods : In a case-control study of cases with early stages of AMD and late AMD and controls without AMD, leucocyte telomere length (LTL) was quantified in peripheral venous blood samples using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) following standard protocols. The qPCR method uses a reference single copy gene to allow comparison of telomere gene sequence to yield a relative LTL as a ratio (LTL/single copy gene; T/S ratio). Only Caucasian participants with good quality DNA samples (260/280 absorption ratio of ≤ 2.5) were included in analyses. All analyses to investigate differences in telomere length according to AMD status were adjusted for age, sex, smoking and qPCR grouping plate, to account for variability between plates.

Results : A total of 631 Caucasian participants (121 controls, 131 early AMD, 379 late AMD) were included. Mean age was 73 years (±9 years standard deviation), and 58% were female. LTL was 2.77 (± 0.32) in controls, 2.73 (±0.30, p=0.26) in early AMD and 2.70 (±0.30; p=0.03) in late AMD. In multivariate linear regression controlling for age, sex, smoking and qPCR grouping plate, late AMD was associated with shorter LTL (mean difference -0.09; 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.15, -0.03; p=0.002).

Conclusions : Late AMD is associated with advanced cellular senescence as measured by LTL. Differential biological aging in persons who have AMD may be a novel pathway worth investigating.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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