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Epigenetics changes of activity of the ribosomal cistrons of acrocentric chromatids in fetus, middle age (25–40 years) and old individuals (88–106 years)
SUMMARY. The level of total heterochromatin, Ag-positive nucleolar organizer regions (NORs), non-associated and associated heterochromatin satellite stalks of acrocentric chromatids (some acrocentric chromosomal chromatid satellite stalks are connected to each other forming a satellite association), the intensity of each acrocentric chromatid involved in the association were studied in 29 fetuses, 32 healthy 22–45-year-old individuals (middle-aged) and 22 healthy 80–106-year-old individuals. The chromosomes were identified by the analysis of G-banding, using the Ikaros karyotyping system (Meta system). The differential scanning calorimeter showed an increase in chromatin thermostability (heterochromatinization) in adults (middle-aged and elderly) compared with fetuses. The number of Ag-positive NORs per cell, for both associated and non-associated chromatids, was significantly increased in fetus cells compared to middle age and to extreme old age. The number of satellite associations of chromatids per cell in the fetus and in individuals of the senile group was reduced, compared with middle-aged individuals. The activity of entering the chromatid associations was significantly lower for 15th chromosome in all the studied groups compared to other acrocentric chromatids, while the chromatids of the 21st chromosome participated in associations with high activity. The frequency of associations of homologous chromosome chromatids (13:13; 14:14; 15:15 and 22:22) and of certain types of chromosome chromatids (15:22 and 21:22) in the fetus, middle-aged individuals and in the senile group was almost identical. The above phenomena seem to indicate that the ribosomal genes of chromatid satellite stalks undergo a specific epigenetic variability depending on the age, determining specific rRNA syntheses for the construction of specific ribosomes which may have great importance in assessing the overall functioning of cells in normal and pathological conditions.
Key words: Aging, Association, Heterochromatinization, Fetuses, Ribosomal genes, Satellite stalks
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