Telomere attrition in heart failure: A flow-FISH longitudinal analysis of circulating monocytes

Iris Teubel, Elena Elchinova, Santiago Roura, Marco A. Fernández, Carolina Gálvez-Montón, Pedro Moliner, Marta de Antonio, Josep Lupón, Antoni Bayés-Genís

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5 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 The Author(s). Background: Cross-sectional investigations report shorter telomeres in patients with heart failure (HF); however, no studies describe telomere length (TL) trajectory and its relationship with HF progression. Here we aimed to investigate telomere shortening over time and its relationship to outcomes. Methods: Our study cohort included 101 ambulatory patients with HF. Blood samples were collected at baseline (n = 101) and at the 1-year follow-up (n = 54). Using flow-FISH analysis of circulating monocytes, we simultaneously measured three monocyte subsets-classical (CD14 ++ CD16 - ), intermediate (CD14 ++ CD16 + ), and nonclassical (CD14 + CD16 ++ )-and their respective TLs based on FITC-labeled PNA probe hybridization. The primary endpoints were all-cause death and the composite of all-cause death or HF-related hospitalization, assessed at 2.3 ± 0.6 years. All statistical analyses were executed by using the SPSS 15.0 software, and included Student's t test and ANOVA with post hoc Scheffe analysis, Pearson or Spearman rho correlation and univariate Cox regression when applicable. Results: We found high correlations between TL values of different monocyte subsets: CD14 ++ CD16 + vs. CD14 ++ CD16 - , R = 0.95, p < 0.001; CD14 ++ CD16 + vs. CD14 + CD16 ++ , R = 0.90, p < 0.001; and CD14 ++ CD16 - vs. CD14 + CD16 ++ , R = 0.89, p < 0.001. Mean monocyte TL exhibited significant attrition from baseline to the 1-year follow-up (11.1 ± 3.3 vs. 8.3 ± 2.1, p < 0.001). TL did not significantly differ between monocyte subsets at either sampling time-point (all p values > 0.1). Cox regression analyses did not indicate that TL or ΔTL was associated with all-cause death or the composite endpoint. Conclusions: Overall, this longitudinal study demonstrated a ~ 22% reduction of TL in monocytes from ambulatory patients with HF within 1 year. TL and ΔTL were not related to outcomes over long-term follow-up.
Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018


  • Heart failure
  • Monocyte subsets
  • Telomere attrition
  • Telomere length


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