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Short Telomere in Alveolar Type II Cells and Lung Fibrosis in Post-COVID Cancer Patients



June 15, 2023

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  • Aging-US published this research paper as the cover for Volume 15, Issue 11, entitled, "Short telomeres in alveolar type II cells associate with lung fibrosis in post COVID-19 patients with cancer" by researchers from Telomeres and Telomerase Group, Molecular Oncology Program, Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO), Madrid E-28029, Spain; Servicio de Anatomía Patológica, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander 39008, Spain; Servicio de Cirugía Torácica, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander 39008, Spain; Servicio de Neumología Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander E-39008, Spain; Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (IBBTEC), Cantabria, Santander E-39011, Spain; Instituto de Investigación Marqués de Valdecilla (IDIVAL), Santander E-39011, Spain; Departamento de Fisiología y Farmacología, Universidad de Cantabria, Santander E-39011, Spain. DOI - Corresponding author - Maria A. Blasco - Abstract The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The severity of COVID-19 increases with each decade of life, a phenomenon that suggest that organismal aging contributes to the fatality of the disease. In this regard, we and others have previously shown that COVID-19 severity correlates with shorter telomeres, a molecular determinant of aging, in patient’s leukocytes. Lung injury is a predominant feature of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection that can further progress to lung fibrosis in post-COVID-19 patients. Short or dysfunctional telomeres in Alveolar type II (ATII) cells are sufficient to induce pulmonary fibrosis in mouse and humans. Here, we analyze telomere length and the histopathology of lung biopsies from a cohort of alive post-COVID-19 patients and a cohort of age-matched controls with lung cancer. We found loss of ATII cellularity and shorter telomeres in ATII cells concomitant with a marked increase in fibrotic lung parenchyma remodeling in post- COVID-19 patients compared to controls. These findings reveal a link between presence of short telomeres in ATII cells and long-term lung fibrosis sequel in Post-COVID-19 patients. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Subscribe for free publication alerts from Aging - Keywords - aging, ATII cells, lung fibrosis, telomeres, COVID-19, SARS-CoV2 About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

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