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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 153608, 8 pages
Research Article

Telomere Length in Elderly Caucasians Weakly Correlates with Blood Cell Counts

1Department of General and Molecular Biology and Genetics, Medical University of Silesia, 40-752 Katowice, Poland
2Department of Pathophysiology, Medical University of Silesia, 40-752 Katowice, Poland
3Department of Human Epigenetics, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland
4International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 02-109 Warsaw, Poland
5Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Isotope Therapy Medical University, 50-367 Wroclaw, Poland
6Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Medical Center of Postgraduate Education, 01-813 Warsaw, Poland
7Department of Epidemiology, Medical University of Silesia, 40-752 Katowice, Poland
8Department of Nephrology, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Silesia, 40-027 Katowice, Poland

Received 26 August 2013; Accepted 7 October 2013

Academic Editors: M. Kitagawa and R. J. Scott

Copyright © 2013 Ewa Gutmajster et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Age-related decrease in bone marrow erythropoietic capacity is often accompanied by the telomere length shortening in peripheral white blood cells. However, limited and conflicting data hamper the conclusive opinion regarding this relationship. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess an association between telomere length and peripheral blood cell count parameters in the Polish elderly population. Material and Methods. The substudy included 1573 of 4981 subjects aged 65 years or over, participants of the population-based PolSenior study. High-molecular-weight DNA was isolated from blood mononuclear cells. Telomere length (TL) was measured by QRT-PCR as abundance of telomere template versus a single gene copy encoding acidic ribosomal phosphoprotein P0. Results. Only white blood count (WBC) was significantly different in TL tertile subgroups in all subjects ( ) and in men ( ), but not in women. Merely in men significant but weak positive correlations were found between TL and WBC ( , ) and RBC ( , ). The multiple regression analysis models confirmed a weak, independent contribution of TL to both RBC and WBC. Conclusions. In the elderly, telomere shortening limits hematopoiesis capacity to a very limited extent.