[Accelerated somatic cell senescence and changes in p16INK4a expression after exogenous DNA transfection]
During the transfection of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF), we found these cells became senescent, appearing enlarged with hollow cytoplasm and multinucleated. The telomere lengths of these senescent MEFs were significantly shorter than primary untransfected MEFs. In senescent MEF cells, DNA methylation of p16INK4a 5'-regulatory region showed gradual reduction as cells aged. RT-PCR and Northern blot demonstrated that the expression of p16INK4a in transfected senescent cells was 12-16 times more than primary cells. The senescent transfected MEF cells as donors of nuclei could support the early development of cloned embryos after nuclear transfer.