Measurement of oxidatively induced base lesions in liver from Wistar rats of different ages

Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 Aug;27(3-4):456-62. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(99)00091-x.


Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA were isolated from the livers of young (6-7 month) and old (23-24 month) Wistar rats and the levels of 10 different oxidatively induced lesions were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. This is the first study to measure several different oxidatively induced base lesions in both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA as a function of age. No significant age effects were observed for any lesion. Furthermore, contrary to expectations, we did not observe elevated levels of oxidatively induced base lesions in mitochondrial DNA. This contrasts with 50-fold differences reported for several lesions between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from porcine liver (Zastawny et al., Free Radic. Biol. Med. 24:722-725, 1998). The fact that different lesion levels are observed even when similar techniques are employed emphasizes that the role of oxidative mitochondrial DNA damage and its repair in aging must continue to be the subject of intense investigation. Questions concerning endogenous levels of damage should be revisited as existing methods are improved and new methods become available.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Free Radicals
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hydrolysis
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Nucleotides / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Free Radicals
  • Nucleotides