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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Jun;1019:269-73.

Measurement of the 4,834-bp mitochondrial DNA deletion level in aging rat liver and brain subjected or not to caloric restriction diet.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


Several studies have demonstrated an age-related accumulation of the amount of a specific 4834-bp mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletion in different tissues of rat (liver, brain, and skeletal muscle). We investigated the influence of a caloric restriction diet (CR) on a selected age-associated marker of mtDNA damage, as the 4834-bp deletion, using quantitative real-time PCR. The mtDNA deleted level has been determined with respect to the mitochondrial D-loop level, using specific primers and TaqMan probes for each target. In liver we found an age-related increase of the deletion level (twofold) that was reversed and brought back to the adult level by a CR diet. On the contrary, in the brain the age-related increase of the deletion level (eightfold) was not affected by CR at all. The different effect of the CR on the deletion level in liver and brain might be a further element supporting the tissue-specificity of the aging process.

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