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Aging (Albany NY). 2016 May;8(5):841-7. doi: 10.18632/aging.100958.

Sensitivity of primary fibroblasts in culture to atmospheric oxygen does not correlate with species lifespan.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.
2
Laboratory of Stochastic Stereology and Chemical Anatomy (LSSCA), Department of Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, Brazil.
3
School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK.
4
Science Faculty, Biology Department, Dicle University, 21280 Diyarbakır, Turkey.
5
Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel.
6
Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
7
Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Abstract

Differences in the way human and mouse fibroblasts experience senescence in culture had long puzzled researchers. While senescence of human cells is mediated by telomere shortening, Parrinello et al. demonstrated that senescence of mouse cells is caused by extreme oxygen sensitivity. It was hypothesized that the striking difference in oxygen sensitivity between mouse and human cells explains their different rates of aging. To test if this hypothesis is broadly applicable, we cultured cells from 16 rodent species with diverse lifespans in 3% and 21% oxygen and compared their growth rates. Unexpectedly, fibroblasts derived from laboratory mouse strains were the only cells demonstrating extreme sensitivity to oxygen. Cells from hamster, muskrat, woodchuck, capybara, blind mole rat, paca, squirrel, beaver, naked mole rat and wild-caught mice were mildly sensitive to oxygen, while cells from rat, gerbil, deer mouse, chipmunk, guinea pig and chinchilla showed no difference in the growth rate between 3% and 21% oxygen. We conclude that, although the growth of primary fibroblasts is generally improved by maintaining cells in 3% oxygen, the extreme oxygen sensitivity is a peculiarity of laboratory mouse strains, possibly related to their very long telomeres, and fibroblast oxygen sensitivity does not directly correlate with species' lifespan.

KEYWORDS:

fibroblasts; human; oxygen; rodents; senescence

PMID:
27163160
PMCID:
PMC4931838
DOI:
10.18632/aging.100958
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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