The subtelomere of short telomeres is hypermethylated in alzheimer's disease

Jing Zhi Guan, Wei Ping Guan, Toyoki Maeda, Naoki Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Telomere shortening has been reported to be related to oxidative stress (OS) associated with the aging process and aging-associated diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). We measured the methylated and non-methylated telomere lengths in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 34 AD patients and 49 healthy controls by a Southern blotting analysis, using methylation-sensitive and -insensitive restriction enzyme isoschizomers, MspI and HpaII. AD patients bore normal mean telomere lengths and had an unchanged distribution of the telomere length in peripheral leukocytes. However, the subtelomeres in the shortest telomeres were relatively more methylated in AD patients of both genders, compared with age-matched controls. We observed that the pathogenesis of AD was associated with the epigenetic condition of the subtelomere, but not on the overall telomere length and distribution. The relative elevation of subtelomeric methylation of short telomeres in peripheral blood leukocytes may be a characteristic of AD. This implies that leukocytes containing short telomeres with less methylated subtelomeres tend to be removed faster from the peripheral blood in AD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cell Biology


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