Immune competence largely depends on immune cell renewal and clonal expansion of T- and B-cell populations. When the immune system ages, the adaptive immunity deteriorates because of progressive declines of naïve T and B cells and decrease of absolute numbers of T and B lymphocytes. How to determine the aging status of the immune system? And what are the possible tailor-made actions to rejuvenate immune system based on the genetic make-up? Now, there is a simple way to assess the aging of the immune system testing the Telomere Length. This test can also reveal the changes of telomere length caused by the intervention regime you prescribed to your patients.
Telomeres, protein-DNA complexes localized at the ends of linear chromosomes, are the primary gatekeepers of the genome stability. Their length shortens with each cell division and correlates inversely with increasing age. The length can be modified by genetic and epigenetic factors, sex hormones and inflammatory reactions. Since the telomeres are G-C rich tandem repeats, they are also sensitive to oxidative stress. A critical minimum telomere length triggers a cell cycle arrest or cell senescence. Therefore, telomere length can serve as a biological indicator and a determining factor of the replicative capacity of immune cells.
Our ImmuniGen test is performed from a fingertip dried blood spot of easily and pain-less sampling. It measures the telomere length of peripheral blood mononuclear cells including immune cells in dry blood spots by qPCR. The method provides a relative telomere length (T) compared to a single (T) gene and the results are expressed as T/S ratio. T/S is then matched against our database with a large reference population and compared to that of individuals having the same chronological age to the tested person to monitor telomere shortening. In addition, we test the genetic make-up which affects the telomere length and provide corresponding solutions to make it favour the telomere lengthening.
Telomere Shortening Factors
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