The evaluation of the evolution of telomere length from peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) in subjects from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) cohort in relation to the incidence of osteoarthritis (OA) and explore its possible interactive influence with the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup.Dynamics of telomere sequence loss was quantified in PBL from initially healthy individuals, without symptoms or radiological signs, 78 carrying the mtDNA cluster HV and 47 with cluster JT, from the OAI, during a 72-month follow-up. The incidence of knee OA during this period (n=39) was radiographically established when Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) score increased from < 2 at recruitment to ≥ 2 during 72 months of follow-up. Multivariate analysis using binary logistic regression was performed to assess PBL telomere loss and mtDNA haplogroups as associated risk factors of incidence of knee OA RESULTS: Carriers of cluster HV showed an OA incidence twice that of the JT carriers (n=30 vs. n=9). Rate of PBL telomere loss was higher in cluster HV carriers and in incident individuals. Multivariate analysis showed that the dynamics of PBL telomere shortening can be a consistent risk marker of knee OA incidence. Non-incidents showed a slower telomere loss than incidents, the difference being more significant in carriers of cluster JT than in HV.An increased telomere loss rate in PBL may reflect a systemic accelerated senescence phenotype which could be potentiated by the mitochondrial function, increasing the susceptibility of developing OA.
Rebeca Guillén Fajardo, Fátima Otero Fariña, Alejandro Mosquera Rey, Ignacio Rego-Pérez, Francisco Javier Blanco García, José Luis Fernández García