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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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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
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.
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.
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).
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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