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Genes, brain, and emotionsInterdisciplinary and Translational Perspectives$
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Andrei C. Miu, Judith R. Homberg, and Klaus-Peter Lesch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198793014

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198793014.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

Psychosocial stress and telomere regulation

Psychosocial stress and telomere regulation

(p.247) Chapter 17 Psychosocial stress and telomere regulation
Genes, brain, and emotions

Idan Shalev

Waylon J Hastings

Oxford University Press

Telomeres, the repetitive nucleoprotein regions at chromosome ends, are hallmarks of biological aging. Deficiencies in the network of proteins and nucleic acids which govern telomere regulation result in their gradual erosion over time, and shorter telomere length is associated with chronic disease as well as all-cause mortality. Telomeres are also indicative of cumulative stress experienced across the lifespan. This chapter summarizes empirical evidence for the impact of lifelong psychosocial stress, lifestyle behaviors, and chronic diseases on telomere biology. This biological embedding of experiences involves complex interactions with cellular processes regulating telomere length. Before describing such interactions, the chapter chronicles intrinsic regulation of telomeres by enzymatic, RNA, and epigenetic mechanisms. It then considers the stress-related mechanisms implicated in telomere regulation, including neuroendocrine systems, immuno-inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial respiration. A full understanding of these processes can promote better clinical treatments and intervention efforts to reverse the damaging effect of stress on telomeres.

Keywords:   psychosocial stress, telomeres, aging, telomerase, oxidative stress, molecular mechanisms

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