, Volume 49, Issue 1-3, pp 44-48
Date: 01 Dec 2010

The long and the short of telomeres in bone marrow recipient SCID patients

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Telomeres are noncoding DNA regions at the end of the chromosomes that are crucial for genome stability. Since telomere length decreases with cell division, they can be used as a signature of cell proliferation history. T-cell reconstitution in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) subjects, recipients of T-cell-depleted, allogeneic-related bone marrow cells, is due to the development and maturation of donor T-cell precursors in the infant’s vestigial thymus and to homeostatic proliferation of mature T cells in the peripheral organs. Since T-cell function, thymic output, and T-cell clonal diversity are maintained long term in these patients, we investigated whether donor T-cell engraftment resulted in increased telomere shortening. Our study of seven SCID patients, following successful bone marrow transplantation, demonstrates that the patients’ peripheral T cells did not exhibit greater than normal telomere shortening.