Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that mimics certain aspects of aging prematurely. Recent work has revealed that mutations in the lamin A gene are a cause of the disease. We show here that cellular aging of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome fibroblasts is characterised by a period of hyperproliferation and terminates with a large increase in the rate of apoptosis. The occurrence of cells with abnormal nuclear morphology reported by others is shown to be a result of cell division since the fraction of these abnormalities increases with cellular age. Similarly, the proportion of cells with an abnormal or absent A-type lamina increases with age. These data provide clues as to the cellular basis for premature aging in HGPS and support the view that cellular senescence and tissue homeostasis are important factors in the normal aging process.