Telomerase is an RNA-dependent DNA polymerase that maintains the tandem arrays of telomeric repeats at the eukaryotic chromosome ends. Because of its ability to replenish lost telomeric sequences, telomerase is thought to be required for cell proliferation. At present, very little information on the role of telomerase in aging is available. In the present study, we tested the telomerase activity of Fischer 344 rat testis and liver at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months of age. As the testis is an androgen-dependent tissue, we also investigated the changes of testosterone and mRNA levels of androgen receptor in this tissue. Our results show that the telomerase activity of Fischer 344 rat testis significantly reduced at 24 months of age compared to 6 months of age, and that the mRNA level of telomerase protein component 1 (TLP-1) show a corresponding decrease with the telomerase activity. Interestingly, this down-regulation was not observed in the liver. The testosterone level in testis increased until 18 months of age, but reduced by 50% at 24 months of age. Our conclusions are that the telomerase activity is age-dependent and its change is a tissue-specific phenomenon.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Molecules and Cells|
|State||Published - Jun 30 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology