Apoptosis is the ordered chain of events that lead to cell destruction. Terminal differentiation (denucleation) is the process in which cells lose their nuclei but remain functional. Our group examined cell death in three tissues using two different fixatives and a postfixation procedure, involving young (5 months) and old (2 years) guinea pigs. The data reveal that B-DNA and Z-DNA content decreases, whereas single-stranded (ss-) DNA increases, in older tissues undergoing apoptosis (skin and cornea) and terminal differentiation (ocular lens). We speculate that some of the factors that contribute to the aging process might also be responsible for the enhanced amount of damaged DNA in older tissues undergoing cell death.
- Denatured DNA
- Terminal differentiation