UV-induced DNA excision repair was studied as DNA repair synthesis and dimer removal in rat fibroblast cultures, initiated from either dense or sparse inocula of primary cells grown from skin biopsies. During passaging in vitro an initial increase in DNA repair synthesis, determined both autoradiographically as unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) and by means of the BrdU photolysis assay as the number and average size of repair patches, was found to be associated with a morphological shift from small spindle-shaped to large pleiomorphic cells observed over the first twenty generations. In cell populations in growth crisis, a situation exclusively associated with thin-inoculum cultures in which the population predominantly consisted of large pleiomorphic cells, UDS was found to occur at a low level. After development of secondary cultures into immortal cell lines, both repair synthesis and morphology appeared to be the same as in the original primary spindle-shaped cells. At all passages the capacity to remove UV-induced pyrimidine dimers was found to be low, as indicated by the persistence of Micrococcus luteus UV endonuclease-sensitive sites. These results are discussed in the context of terminal differentiation and immortalization of rat fibroblasts upon establishment in vitro.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology