Rationale: aneuploidy and telomere length are two major parameters that have been associated with cellular senescence in vitro. In order to explore the role of aneuploidy and telomere length in aging of the human vasculature, we studied these two parameters in direct preparations of endothelial cells of the human abdominal aorta. Methods: using fluorescent in situ hybridization on 'touch prep' slides, we evaluated aneuploidy of two autosomes (chromosomes 6 and 16) and sex chromosomes in non cultured endothelial cells of the abdominal aorta as a function of the donor's age. Results: we found that the frequency of aneuploidy of vascular endothelial cells significantly increased with age. This was expressed by age- dependent tetrasomy (r s = 0.56, P = 0.006 for chromosome 6; and r s = 0.54, P = 0.008 for chromosome 16), and age dependent loss of the Y chromosome (r s = 0.85, P = 0.0003). In addition, we found that telomere length was inversely correlated with age (r = -0.38, P = 0.008). Data interpretation: these findings suggest that indicators of cellular senescence, earlier observed in vitro, are also expressed in the human vascular endothelium in vivo. Aneuploidy and telomere attrition might thus play a role in the aging of the human vasculature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Vascular endothlium