DNA repair was studied as a function of age in cells isolated from both the liver and the kidney of male Fischer F344 rats. DNA repair was measured by quantifying unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by UV irradiation. Unscheduled DNA synthesis decreased approximately 50% between the ages of 5 and 30 months in both hepatocytes and kidney cells. The age-related decline in unscheduled DNA synthesis in cells isolated from the liver and kidney was compared in rats fed ad libitum and rats fed a calorie-restricted diet; calorie restriction has been shown to increase the survival of rodents. The level of unscheduled DNA synthesis was significantly higher in hepatocytes and kidney cells isolated from the rats fed the restricted diet. Thus, calorie restriction appears to retard the age-related decline in DNA repair.