Mutation theory of aging, assessed in transgenic mice and knockout mice

Tetsuya Ono, Yoshihiko Uehara, Yusuke Saito, Hironobu Ikehata

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32 Citations (Scopus)


A vital question in the mutation theory of aging is whether mutation accumulates with age. If it does, what are the causes and consequences of the accumulation of mutation? The recent development of transgenic mice has made it possible to study mutation in different kinds of tissues and at a molecular level. An application of these mice to the study of age-dependent alteration has revealed that mutation does accumulate in the aging process. Studies have also revealed several important characteristics of mutation associated with aging. (1) The rate of age-dependent increase of mutant frequency varies among different types of tissue. (2) The rate is not in parallel with the cell proliferation rate of the tissue. (3) Some types of mutation are unique to specific tissues, suggesting the presence of a mechanism of mutation relative to tissue type. On the other hand, several kinds of knockout mice defective in DNA repair have been shown to exhibit tissue lesions and shortened life span. These characteristics provide a new view on the relationship between aging and the genome maintenance system. Here we review the current status of research on the correlation between mutation and aging undertaken by the use of transgenic and knockout mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1552
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Nov


  • Aging
  • Knockout mouse
  • Mutation
  • Transgenic mouse


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