The proportion of S-phase cells in a WKAH rat cell population decreased and that of G1-phase cells increased at 8 and 18 hr post-incubation following UV-irradiation, although no significant change was observed in the ratio of the proportion of S-phase to G1-phase cells in a LEC rat cell population. Thus, UV-radiation-induced delay in the progression from the G1 to S phase was observed in WKAH rat cells but was not apparent in LEC rat cells. The fraction of LEC rat cells containing a sub-G0 DNA content increased with post-incubation time after UV-irradiation, but not that of WKAH rat cells. The proportion of the sub-G0 fraction in LEC rat cells increased with increasing doses of UV-rays. Low molecular weight DNAs extracted from UV-irradiated LEC rat cells exhibited an intense DNA ladder pattern at 18 and 24 hr post-irradiation by electrophoretic analysis, but not those from UV-irradiated WKAH rat cells. These results showed a higher sensitivity of LEC rat cells in induction of apoptosis than that of WKAH rat cells to UV-irradiation, although there was no difference in the survival curves among the cell lines from LEC and WKAH rats after UV-irradiation.