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Mood Disorders, Accelerated Aging, and Inflammation: Is the Link Hidden in Telomeres?

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato Cagliari, Italy
2
Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 2E2, Canada
3
Department of Neuroscience, Unit of Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 752 39 Uppsala, Sweden
4
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Unit of Biology and Genetics, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato Cagliari, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8010052
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Telomere Biology in Aging and Human Disease)
Mood disorders are associated with an increased risk of aging-related diseases, which greatly contribute to the excess morbidity and mortality observed in affected individuals. Clinical and molecular findings also suggest that mood disorders might be characterized by a permanent state of low-grade inflammation. At the cellular level, aging translates into telomeres shortening. Intriguingly, inflammation and telomere shortening show a bidirectional association: a pro-inflammatory state seems to contribute to aging and telomere dysfunction, and telomere attrition is able to induce low-grade inflammation. Several independent studies have reported shorter telomere length and increased levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines in mood disorders, suggesting a complex interplay between altered inflammatory–immune responses and telomere dynamics in the etiopathogenesis of these disorders. In this review, we critically discuss studies investigating the role of telomere attrition and inflammation in the pathogenesis and course of mood disorders, and in pharmacological treatments with psychotropic medications. View Full-Text
Keywords: telomere shortening; inflammation; aging; bipolar disorder; major depression; mood disorders; lithium; antidepressants; mood stabilizers telomere shortening; inflammation; aging; bipolar disorder; major depression; mood disorders; lithium; antidepressants; mood stabilizers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Squassina, A.; Pisanu, C.; Vanni, R. Mood Disorders, Accelerated Aging, and Inflammation: Is the Link Hidden in Telomeres? Cells 2019, 8, 52.

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