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Leucocyte Telomere Length and Glucose Tolerance Status in Mixed-Ancestry South Africans

1
SAMRC/CPUT/Cardiometabolic Health Research unit, Department of Biomedical sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, P.O. Box 1906, Bellville 7530, South Africa
2
Division of Haematology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7925, South Africa
3
Non Communicable Diseases Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town 7505, South Africa
4
Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7925, South Africa
5
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) and Stellenbosch University, Cape Town 7505, South Africa
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(5), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8050464
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
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Abstract

Telomeres are DNA-tandem repeats situated at the ends of chromosomes and are responsible for genome stabilization. They are eroded by increased cell division, age and oxidative stress with shortened leucocyte telomeres (LTL) being associated with inflammatory disorders, including Type II diabetes. We assessed LTL in 205 participants across glucose tolerance groups at baseline and after three years in the mixed ancestry population of South Africa which have been shown to have high rates of obesity and T2DM. Baseline and follow-up data included glucose tolerance status, anthropometric measurements, lipids, insulin, γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT), cotinine, and HbA1c. Telomere length was measured using the absolute telomere q-PCR method performed on a Bio-Rad MiniOpticon Detector. No significant difference was detected in LTL across glucose tolerance groups at both time points, including in subjects who showed a deterioration of their glucose tolerance status. There was, however, a significant negative correlation between LTL and age which was more pronounced in diabetes (r = −0.18, p = 0.04) and with GGT (r = −0.16, p = 0.027). This longitudinal study has demonstrated that LTL shortening is not evident within three years, nor is it associated with glycaemia. Further studies in a larger sample and over a longer time period is required to confirm these results. View Full-Text
Keywords: leucocyte telomere length; hyperglycemia; type II diabetes leucocyte telomere length; hyperglycemia; type II diabetes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Weale, C.J.; Davison, G.M.; Hon, G.M.; Kengne, A.P.; Erasmus, R.T.; Matsha, T.E. Leucocyte Telomere Length and Glucose Tolerance Status in Mixed-Ancestry South Africans. Cells 2019, 8, 464.

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