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Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects:
Identifiers:doi:10.1086/687378
Telomeres shorten at each cell division due to the end-replication problem but also in response to oxidative stress. Consequently, telomeres shorten with age in many endotherms, and this shortening is accelerated under stressful environmental conditions. Data in ectotherm vertebrates remain scarce so far, so our goal was to review existing data for fish and to test the influence of age and stress on telomere length in a very long-lived fish, the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii). Our review of the literature revealed age-related telomere shortening in approximately half of the published studies. In the Siberian sturgeon, we found a significant telomere shortening with age, both at the intraindividual level using red blood cells (−12.5% in 16 mo) and at the interindividual level using cross-sectional samples of fin over an age range of 8 yr. We also found that heat stress (30°C) significantly reduced telomere length by 15.0% after only 1 mo of exposure. Our results highlight that both age and stressful environmental conditions might be important determinants of telomere length in fish.
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