Immunologic Research

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 44-48

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

  • Marcella Sarzotti-KelsoeAffiliated withDepartment of Immunology, Duke University Medical CenterDepartment of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center Email author 
  • , Xiaoju G. DaniellAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center
  • , John F. WhitesidesAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center
  • , Rebecca H. BuckleyAffiliated withDepartment of Immunology, Duke University Medical CenterDepartment of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center

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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.


SCID Telomere Transplantation T cell TREC