Induction of DNA polymerase beta and gamma in the lungs of age-related oxygen tolerant rats

Mech Ageing Dev. 1995 Nov 24;85(2-3):95-107. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(95)01659-7.


To clarify a mechanism for oxygen tolerance in young rats, 3 and 8 week-old rats were exposed to 100% oxygen. All 8 week-old (8W) rats died between 48 and 72h, whereas most 3 week-old (3W) rats survived for more than 72 h under hyperoxia. It was assumed that this difference is attributable to oxygen tolerance in 3W rats compared with 8W rats. To clarify this difference, we measured the change in the activity of DNA polymerase, which is related to the final step of DNA repair. DNA polymerase activity in crude lung extracts from 3W rats increased up to 72 h after oxygen exposure. On the other hand, the activity in 8W rats was decreased at 24 h and 48 h. The activity of DNA polymerase beta, which is related to nuclear DNA (nDNA) repair, was approximately seven times higher in 3W rats than in 8W rats. DNA polymerase beta activities in 3W rats decreased up to 48 h with oxygen exposure, but recovered to pre-exposure levels by 72 h. Moreover, an induction of DNA polymerase gamma, which is related to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication and/or repair, was observed only in 3W rat lungs after 24 h of oxygen exposure. From these results, we conclude that the induction of DNA polymerase beta and DNA polymerase gamma in lung tissue plays a key role in oxygen tolerance in very young rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oxygen / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Oxygen