Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Age-related arterial telomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women compared with men.

Authors: Walker, Ashley E; Morgan, R Garrett; Ives, Stephen J; Cawthon, Richard M; Andtbacka, Robert H I; Noyes, Dirk; Lesniewski, Lisa A; Richardson, Russell S; Donato, Anthony J

Published In Exp Gerontol, (2016 Jan)

Abstract: Telomere uncapping increases with advancing age in human arteries and this telomere uncapping is associated with increased markers of senescence, independent of mean telomere length. However, whether there are sex specific differences in arterial telomere uncapping is unknown. We found that telomere uncapping (serine 139 phosphorylated histone γ-H2A.X in telomeres) in arteries was ~2.5 fold greater in post-menopausal women (n=17, 63±2 years) compared with pre-menopausal women (n=11, 30±2 years, p=0.02), while there was only a trend towards greater telomere uncapping in older men (n=26, 66±2 years) compared with young men (n=11, 31±2, p=0.11). Senescence markers, p53 bound to the p21 gene promoter and p21 gene expression, were 3-4 fold greater in post-menopausal compared with pre-menopausal women (p=0.01-0.02), but only 1.5-2 fold greater in older compared with young men (p=0.02-0.08). Blood glucose was related to telomere uncapping in women, while systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure and serum creatinine were related to telomere uncapping in men. Mean arterial telomere length decreased similarly in women and men with age (p<0.01). Thus, the age-related increase in arterial telomere uncapping and senescence is greater in women than men, despite similar age-related reductions in mean telomere length in both sexes.

PubMed ID: 26602606 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Aging/genetics*; Aging/physiology; Arteries/physiopathology; Arteries/ultrastructure*; Blood Glucose/metabolism; Female; Histones/metabolism; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Phosphorylation; Postmenopause/genetics; Postmenopause/physiology; Premenopause/genetics; Premenopause/physiology; Sex Characteristics*; Telomerase/metabolism; Telomere Shortening/physiology; Telomere/metabolism; Telomere/physiology*; Young Adult

to Top