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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Telomerase activity in the synovial tissues of chronic inflammatory and non-inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein complex which can compensate for telomeric loss originating from each cell division, and its activation plays a critical role in cellular immortality. We previously found that telomerase is activated not only in immortal cancer cells but also in activated lymphocytes. To assess the diagnostic significance of telomerase activity in RA synovial tissues, we quantitatively examined telomerase activity in synovial tissue samples obtained from 47 patients with RA, 31 with osteoarthritis (OA), and 23 with other joint diseases. Telomerase activity in synovial tissues was detected in 28 of 47 (59.6%) patients with RA, including monoarticular-type RA, but in none of those with other joint diseases except one case each of synovial chondromatosis and OA. Thus, the specificity of telomerase activity in synovial tissues for RA among joint diseases was 96.3% (52/54). In RA samples, the telomerase activity was detected in 14 of 27 (51. 9%) patients with total joint replacement, 7 of 12 (58.3%) open synovectomy cases, and 7 of 8 (87.5%) arthroscopic synovectomy cases. Detection of telomerase activity in synovial tissues is considered to be useful for diagnosis of RA, including monoarticular-type RA, or active inflammation with lymphocyte infiltration, and arthroscopy can be applied for this purpose.[1]


  1. Telomerase activity in the synovial tissues of chronic inflammatory and non-inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Yamanishi, Y., Hiyama, K., Ishioka, S., Maeda, H., Yamanaka, T., Kurose, Y., Yamakido, M. Int. J. Mol. Med. (1999) [Pubmed]
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