Normal human diploid cells, TIG-1, ceased to proliferate at about the 62 population doubling level (PDL). Transformed clones isolated from TIG-1 cells infected with wtSV40 and those with tsA900 SV40 cultured at 34 degrees C were subcultured up to about 80 PDL. When the culture temperature of tsA SV40-transformed cells was shifted from 34 to 39.5 degrees C at 51 PDL, the growth curve of these transformed cells changed to that of normal young cells. When shifted to 39.5 degrees C after 62 PDL, cells immediately reached the end of their proliferative lifespan even under such favourable conditions for growth as low cell density in fresh medium. Growth of wtSV40-transformed cells did not change markedly at either temperature. These findings suggest that the clock of aging progresses in transformed cells as in normal cells, around 62 PDL being the senescent state in both cases, and that T-antigen of the tsA mutant of SV40 supports the extension of the lifespan of human cells only at the permissive temperature.