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Keywords:

  • aging;
  • vitamin E deficiency;
  • hepatocyte;
  • nucleus;
  • nucleolus;
  • RNA

Abstract: Fibrillar centers (FCs), dense fibrillar (DFC) and granular (GC) components in nucleoli, and perichromatin granules (PGs) in nucleoplasm were measured by morphometry. FC size and their nucleolar surface fraction significantly decreased in aging and vitamin E deficiency. The GC and DFC nucleolar fraction was unchanged in adult and old rats, but in vitamin E-deficient animals GC increased and DFC decreased significantly. PG density significantly increased in aging and decreased in vitamin E deficiency. The quantitative evaluation of immunolabeled transcription and splicing factors revealed that polymerase II and SC-35 significantly decreased in old and vitamin E-deficient versus adult animals. Fibrillarin and snRNPs did not change between adult and old rats, but were significantly lower in vitamin E-deficient rats. These data document altered RNA pathways in aging and vitamin E deficiency. Considering the antioxidant role of vitamin E, they lend further support to the importance of free radical production and control in the aging process.