University of Oulu

Glapa-Nowak, A.; Mutt, S.J.; Lisowska, A.; Sapiejka, E.; Goździk-Spychalska, J.; Wieczorek-Filipiak, M.; Drzymała-Czyż, S.; Nowak, J.K.; Thalmann, O.; Herzig, K.-H.; Walkowiak, J. Leukocyte Telomere Length Is Not Reduced in Children and Adults with Cystic Fibrosis but Associates with Clinical Characteristics—A Cross-Sectional Study. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 590.

Leukocyte telomere length is not reduced in children and adults with cystic fibrosis but associates with clinical characteristics : a cross-sectional study

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Author: Glapa-Nowak, Aleksandra1; Jagalur Mutt, Shivaprakash2,3; Lisowska, Aleksandra1;
Organizations: 1Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Metabolic Diseases, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, 60-572 Poznań, Poland
2Research Unit of Biomedicine, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
4The Specialist Centre for Medical Care of Mother and Child, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland
5Department of Pulmonology, Allergology and Respiratory Oncology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-569 Poznań, Poland
6Department of Bromatology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-354 Poznań, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-29


We hypothezied that telomere length is considerably altered in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients compared to healthy subjects (HS), and that leukocyte telomere length variation reflects the severity of CF. Relative telomere length (RTL) was assessed by qPCR in 70 children aged 5–10 (34 CF; 36 HS) and 114 adults aged 18–45 (53 CF; 61 HS). Telomere length was similar in CF and HS (median (interquartile range): 0.799 (0.686–0.950) vs. 0.831 (0.707–0.986); p = 0.5283) both in children and adults. In adults, women had longer telomeres than men (0.805 (0.715–0.931) vs. 0.703 (0.574–0.790); p = 0.0002). Patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids had a shorter RTL compared to those without steroid therapy (0.765 (0.664–0.910) vs. 0.943 (0.813–1.191); p = 0.0007) and this finding remained significant after adjusting for gender, age, BMI, and child/adult status (p = 0.0003). Shorter telomeres were independently associated with the presence of comorbidities (0.763 (0.643–0.905) vs. 0.950 (0.783–1.130); p = 0.0006) and antibiotic treatment at the moment of blood sampling (0.762 (0.648–0.908) vs. 0.832 (0.748–1.129); p = 0.0172). RTL correlated with number of multiple-day hospitalizations (rho = −0.251; p = 0.0239), as well as number of hospitalization days (rho = −0.279; p = 0.0113). Leukocyte RTL in children and adults with CF was not shorter than in healthy controls, and did not seem to have any potential as a predictor of CF survival. However, it inversely associated with the investigated clinical characteristics.

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Series: Journal of clinical medicine
ISSN: 2077-0383
ISSN-E: 2077-0383
ISSN-L: 2077-0383
Volume: 10
Issue: 4
Article number: 590
DOI: 10.3390/jcm10040590
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This research was funded by the National Science Center, Poland (2017/25/N/NZ5/02126). OT received financial support from the National Science Center, Poland (2017/26/E/NZ5/00851).
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (