We used DNA microarrays to identify panels of transcriptional markers of aging that are differentially expressed in young (5 month) and old (25 month) mice of multiple inbred strains (129sv, BALB/c, CBA, DBA, B6, C3H and B6C3F(1)). In the heart, age-related changes of five genes were studied throughout the mouse lifespan: complement component 4, chemokine ligand 14, component of Sp100-rs, phenylalanine hydroxylase and src family associated phosphoprotein 2. A similar analysis in the brain (cerebellum) involved complement component 1q (alpha polypeptide), complement component 4, P lysozyme structural, glial fibrillary acidic protein and cathepsin S. Caloric restriction (CR) inhibited age-related expression of these genes in both tissues. Parametric analysis of gene set enrichment identified several biological processes that are induced with aging in multiple mouse strains. We also tested the ability of dietary antioxidants to oppose these transcriptional markers of aging. Lycopene, resveratrol, acetyl-l-carnitine and tempol were as effective as CR in the heart, and alpha-lipoic acid and coenzyme Q(10) were as effective as CR in the cerebellum. These findings suggest that transcriptional biomarkers of aging in mice can be used to estimate the efficacy of aging interventions on a tissue-specific basis.