Evidence Against Somatic Mutation as a Mechanism of Clonal Senescence

  • George M. Martin
  • Holger Hoehn
  • Eileen M. Bryant
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 129)


In order to carry out complementation tests of the somatic cell mutational theory of clonal senescence, methods were developed for the isolation of proliferating hybrid and parental tetraploid human cells which would not depend upon biochemical selection. Crosses between short-lived strains resulted in short-lived offspring and crosses between long-lived parents tended to be long-lived, in experiments involving skin fibroblast-like cells. Crosses between strains of contrasting longevities gave growth potentials approximately intermediate to those of the parentals.

Crosses were also carried out between euploid fibroblast-like cells and two other distinctive euploid cell types (“E,” or epitheloid and “AF,” or aminiotic fluid cells, both derived from second trimester aminotic fluid) (Hoehn et al., 1974), and both having replicative life spans which are much more limited than the fibroblast-like skin cell (“F” cells). Compared to F x F tetraploids, F x AF and F x E hybrids had lesser growth rates, but were superior to those of parental AF and E cells.

The results are interpreted as evidence in favor of a programmed mechanism for clonal senescence and against somatic cell mutation, at least for the case of mutations involving single copy DNA.


Hybrid Clone Werner Syndrome Mitotic Cell Cycle Hybrid Tetraploid Replicative Life Span 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • George M. Martin
    • 1
  • Holger Hoehn
    • 1
  • Eileen M. Bryant
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Genetic Pathology Center for Inherited Diseases and Institute on AgingUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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