Department of Biochemistry, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeleton Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand. [Email]
Telomeres are capped at the end of the chromosome and gradually shorten when the cell divides. When there is an oxidative stress, it can cause the DNA to be damaged. Hence, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) has been shown to be an indicator for oxidative DNA damage. This study aimed to determine the relative telomere length (RTL) and 8-OHdG levels in neoplastic tissues, adjacent non-neoplastic tissues, and blood leukocytes of musculoskeletal (MS) tumor patients. Neoplastic tissues were compared to adjacent non-neoplastic tissues in MS tumor patients (n = 46). Peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) of MS tumor subjects were compared to those of age-matched healthy controls (n = 107). RTL was evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and 8-OHdG levels were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The RTL in neoplastic tissues was significantly shorter than that in non-neoplastic tissues [1.12 (0.86-1.46) vs 1.45 (1.25-1.65), P = 0.001]. PBLs had lower RTL than non-neoplastic tissues in MS tumor patients [1.04 (0.85-1.13) vs 1.45 (1.25-1.65), P < 0.001]. However, there was no significant difference between RTL in PBLs and in neoplastic tissues. In addition, PBLs of MS tumor patients had higher RTL than those of the controls [1.04 (0.85-1.13) versus 0.78 (0.68-0.90), P < 0.001]. The 8-OHdG levels in neoplastic tissues were remarkably higher than those in non-neoplastic tissues [8.14 (6.81-11.37) nM/μg/μl vs. 3.79 (2.53-6.17) nM/μg/μl, P < 0.001]. Furthermore, plasma 8-OHdG levels in MS tumor patients were markedly greater than those in the controls [102.50 (73.16-133.50) nM vs. 41.09 (6.81-11.37) nM, P < 0.001]. Area under the curve (AUC) was 0.7536 (95% confident interval (CI) 0.6602-0.8469) when the cut-off value of RTL in PBLs was 0.97. Also, plasma 8-OHdG levels depicted that when the cut-off value was 38.67 nM, the AUC was 0.7723 (95% CI 0.6920-0.8527). Moreover, ROC curve analysis showed that both RTL and 8-OHdG appeared to improve the sensitivity (85.68%) and specificity (70.91%) with the AUC 0.8639 (95% CI 0.7500-0.9500). This study suggested that blood leukocyte RTL and plasma 8-OHdG could serve as promising non-invasive biomarkers to differentiate between MS tumor patients and healthy controls. Additionally, telomere attrition and increased oxidative DNA damage might play contributory roles in the pathogenesis of MS tumors.