The effect of donor age on the rate of cell entry into the proliferating pool and subsequent cell cycle duration for peripheral lymphocytes stimulated by phytohemagglutinin (PHA) were examined by using the bromodeoxyuridine incorporation-differential staining technique. Distribution curves for the appearance of metaphase cells in successive generations as a function of culture time were obtained and analyzed both graphically and by a computer simulation model. Peripheral lymphocytes from aged individuals (approximately 75 yr) were stimulated by PHA at approximately one-half of the rate of peripheral lymphocytes from young individuals (approximately 21 yr). Subsequent cell-cycle durations were estimated to range from 10.0 to 25.0 h for aged individual lymphocyte cultures and 10.6-15.6 h for young individual lymphocyte cultures. The possible significance of these findings to aging in general is discussed.

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