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|Title:||Telomere attrition and accumulation of senescent cells in cultured human endothelial cells.|
|Citation:||CELL PROLIF, 2004, 37 (4), pp. 317-324|
|Abstract:||The human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) is an important model of the human endothelium that is widely used in vascular research. HUVECs and the adult endothelium share many characteristics including progression into senescence as the cells age. Despite this, the shortening of telomeres and its relationship to the progression into senescence are poorly defined in HUVECs. In this study of several HUVEC lines we show notable consistency in their growth curves. There is a steady decline in the growth rate of HUVECs grown continually in culture and we estimate complete cessation of growth after approximately 70 population doublings. The HUVECs lose telomeric DNA at a consistent rate of 90 base pairs/population doubling and show a progressive accumulation of shortened telomeres (below 5 kilobases). This telomeric loss correlates with the accumulation of senescent HUVECs in culture as assessed by staining for beta-galactosidase activity at pH 6. Although the telomere length of a large population of cells is a relatively crude measure, we suggest that in HUVECs a mean telomere length (as measured by terminal restriction fragment length) of 5 kilobases is associated with entry into senescence. These data demonstrate the strong relationship between telomere attrition and cell senescence in HUVECs. They suggest that DNA damage and subsequent telomere attrition are likely to be key mechanisms driving the development of endothelial senescence in the pathogenesis of vascular disease.|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles, Dept. of Cardiovascular Sciences|
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