We tried to develop a model of in-vivo investigations into the DNA repair capacity of rats and, by means of this model, to determine the effect of age. To this end the DNA repair capacity was determined after gamma-irradiation with 3 groups of male white Sprague-Dawley rats aged 6, 18-20 and 32-34 months. The organs liver, kidney, heart and spleen were used for this investigation. The relative repair (RR) showed a discontinuous course both in the 4 organs, and in the 3 different age groups. We define "relative repair" as the relationship between the specific activity of DNA decomposition products and the specific activity of DNA in an irradiated test group, as compared with an unirradiated control group. In all age groups the course was similar in the liver and the spleen, especially in the young rats, as well as in the heart and the kidney. Age differences were seen to be significant in all 4 organs at particular intervals after the irradiation, which means that the maximum relative repair occurs at different times. The integration over the whole course of the investigation shows a distinct reduction in the relative repair with increasing age in all the investigated organs except the spleen, where we could not see a difference between the 2 older groups.
Age Factors Aging* Animals DNA Repair*/radiation effects Liver/metabolism Male Nucleic Acids/metabolism Rats Spleen/metabolism