Telomeres are major contributors to cell fate and aging through their involvement in cell cycle arrest and senescence. The accelerated attrition of telomeres is associated with aging-related diseases, and agents able to maintain telomere length (TL) through telomerase activation may serve as potential treatment strategies. The aim of the present study was to assess the potency of a novel telomerase activator on TL and telomerase activity in vivo. The administration of a nutraceutical formulation containing Centella asiatica extract, vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D3 in 18-month-old rats for a period of 3 months reduced the telomere shortening rate at the lower supplement dose and increased mean the TL at the higher dose, compared to pre-treatment levels. TL was determined using the Q-FISH method in peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected from the tail vein of the rats and cultured with RPMI-1640 medium. In both cases, TLs were significantly longer compared to the untreated controls (P≤0.001). In addition, telomerase activity was increased in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of both treatment groups. On the whole, the present study demonstrates that the nutraceutical formulation can maintain or even increase TL and telomerase activity in middle-aged rats, indicating a potential role of this formula in the prevention and treatment of aging-related diseases.

Tsatsakis A, Renieri E, Tsoukalas D, Buga AM, Sarandi E, Vakonaki E, Fragkiadaki P, Alegakis A, Nikitovic D, Calina D, Spandidos DA, Docea AO. A novel nutraceutical formulation increases telomere length and activates telomerase activity in middle‑aged rats. Mol Med Rep. 2023 Dec;28(6):232. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2023.13119.

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