Aging, Cancer, and the Life Span of Cells in Vitro

  • A. Macieira-Coelho
  • B. Azzarone
Conference paper


Several experiments support the idea that there is a relationship between the limited life span of human fibroblasts and aging of the donor. The first claim was published by Hayfliek (1965), who found that human fibroblasts originated from adult donors have a shorter doubling potential than those originated from human embryos. These results were rapidly followed by other attempts to test the relationship of the doubling potential in vitro with the age of the donor of the postnatal cells. Thus it was ascertained that cells obtained from human adults early during their life span in vitro have proliferation kinetics similar to those of embryonic cells during the last stages of their in vitro life span (Macieira-Coelho and Ponten 1969; Schneider and Mitsui 1976); that the potential number of doublings in vitro is inversely proportional to the age of the donor (Martin et al. 1970); and that cells originating from individuals with premature aging have a reduced division potential (Salk et al. 1981).


Life Span Human Fibroblast Skin Fibroblast Sister Chromatid Exchange Werner Syndrome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Macieira-Coelho
    • 1
  • B. Azzarone
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Pathologie CellulaireVillejuif CédexFrance

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