Modification of the ATM/ATR directed DNA damage response state with aging and long after hepatocyte senescence induction in vivo

Mech Ageing Dev. 2008 Jun;129(6):332-40. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2008.02.014. Epub 2008 Mar 14.


The cellular DNA damage response (DDR) entails the activation of ATM, ATR and/or DNA PK protein kinases that causes modifications of proteins including Chk1, Chk2 and 53BP1, aggregation of DDR proteins into foci, and activation of p53. The DDR is thought to be required for initiation and maintenance of cellular senescence. Potentially senescent cells with DNA damage foci occur in large numbers in vivo with many diseases, but, with the exception of mammalian dermis, there is little evidence for that with normal aging. After experimental induction of cellular senescence in the livers of juvenile mice, there was robust expression of DDR markers in hepatocytes at 1 week; however, by 7 weeks, activation of ATM/ATR kinase targets was limited, although cells with DNA damage foci were present. An analysis of hepatocytes of aged, 22-month-old mice, not experimentally exposed to genotoxins, showed limited activation of ATM/ATR targets, though high numbers of cells with DNA damage foci were found, similar to that seen many weeks after artificial senescence induction in young mice. Based on senescence heterochromatin and SA ss Gal assays of the 22-month-old mouse liver, more than 20% of hepatocytes were potentially senescent, though only some components of the DDR were enriched.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Autoradiography / methods
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Atr protein, mouse
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Atm protein, mouse
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases