Telomere length and its relationship with chronic diseases - New perspectives for periodontal research
Data de publicação2013-02-01
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Objective: The ageing process is accompanied by a variety of cellular modifications, and telomere shortening is a common finding. Large epidemiological studies have reported an association between shorter telomere length in peripheral leukocytes and several inflammatory diseases of the elderly including diabetes, atherosclerosis and, recently, periodontitis. The primary aim of this study was to critically discuss available evidence regarding the potential mechanisms relating shorter telomeres to periodontitis. Design: A narrative literature review was performed to report evidence relating shorter telomeres to the ageing process and inflammation. Then, we searched MEDLINE (1950 to May 2012) and ISI WEB OF SCIENCE (1950 to May 2012) databases for the combination of the terms 'telomere' and 'periodontitis'. Results: Although these associations suggest a possible role of telomere attrition in the onset or evolution of chronic inflammatory diseases, only two studies addressed the relationship between telomere length and periodontitis. Conclusion: We suggest that the chronic inflammatory burden observed in people with chronic periodontitis could represent the driver of telomere shortening. However, further evidence is needed to confirm whether inflammation is the cause or the consequence of the shorter leukocyte telomere length observed in people with periodontitis. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.