Basic knowledge about the normal regeneration process within the intervertebral disc (IVD) is important to the understanding of the underlying biology. The presence of progenitor and stem cells in IVD has been verified. However, changes of number of progenitor and stem cells with age are still unknown. In this study, changes of cell proliferation and progenitor cell markers with age in IVD cells from rabbits of two different ages were investigated using flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and western blot analysis. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was chosen as a marker for proliferation, and Notch1, Jagged1, C-KIT, CD166 were chosen as stem/progenitor cell markers. Cell cycle analysis showed that cell number in the G2/M phase of the young rabbits was significantly higher than that of mature rabbits. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated the expression of PCNA, C-KIT, CD166, Notch1, and Jagged1 in both young and mature annulus fibrosus (AF). Protein expressions of these cell markers in the young rabbits were all significantly higher than those in the mature rabbits. The expression levels of PCNA, CD166, C-KIT, Jagged1 were significantly higher in the AF, and PCNA, C-KIT in the nucleus pulposus from young rabbits than those from the mature rabbits. These findings demonstrated that both proliferation and progenitor cells exist in rabbit IVDs and the number of cells expressing proliferation and progenitor cell markers decreases with age in the rabbit IVD cells. Methods that are designed to maintain the endogenous progenitor cells and stimulate their proliferation could be successful in preventing or inhibiting degenerative disc disease.