The effect of metformin on absolute telomere length
Master of Science
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In this study, the relationship between average absolute telomere length and metformin use was examined. Human blood samples were obtained from 106 participants ranging from 42-100 years old. Samples were split into four cohorts for analysis: non-type 2 diabetics not taking metformin (Cohort 1), type 2 diabetics taking metformin (Cohort 2), type 2 diabetics not taking metformin (Cohort 3), and non-type 2 diabetics taking metformin. DNA from blood samples were extracted and purified using an and average absolute telomere length was measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The average absolute telomere length increased with age for Cohort 2 samples and decreased slightly with age for Cohort 1 samples. This led to the mean average absolute telomere length of Cohort 2 beginning as a lower value than Cohort 1 and then matching and later surpassing the Cohort 1 levels with increased age. This trend was intriguing but showed no statistical significance between the mean average absolute telomere length for Cohort 1 and Cohort 2. Cohort 3, however, had a mean average absolute telomere length which was considerably lower than Cohort 1 and 2. The difference between Cohort 3 and 1 and Cohort 3 and 2 was statistically significant between the ages of 71-80. This lower average absolute telomere length in Cohort 3 when compared to Cohort 2 indicates that metformin use may reduce telomere shortening in older adults. Overall, the findings provide further evidence of metformin’s geroprotective effects, and indicate the need for further, more in depth studies in the future with a larger sample size.