Publications by authors named "Magdalena Barancokova"

20 Publications

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DNA repair gene polymorphisms and chromosomal aberrations in healthy, nonsmoking population.

DNA Repair (Amst) 2021 May 27;101:103079. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Center in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 30605 Pilsen, Czech Republic; Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Nonspecific structural chromosomal aberrations (CAs) can be found at around 1% of circulating lymphocytes from healthy individuals but the frequency may be higher after exposure to carcinogenic chemicals or radiation. The frequency of CAs has been measured in occupational monitoring and an increased frequency of CAs has also been associated with cancer risk. Alterations in DNA damage repair and telomere maintenance are thought to contribute to the formation of CAs, which include chromosome type of aberrations and chromatid type of aberrations. In the present study, we used the result of our published genome-wide association studies to extract data on 153 DNA repair genes from 866 nonsmoking persons who had no known occupational exposure to genotoxic substances. Considering an arbitrary cut-off level of P< 5 × 10, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging 22 DNA repair genes were significantly associated with CAs and they remained significant at P < 0.05 when adjustment for multiple comparisons was done by the Binomial Sequential Goodness of Fit test. Nucleotide excision repair pathway genes showed most associations with 6 genes. Among the associated genes were several in which mutations manifest CA phenotype, including Fanconi anemia, WRN, BLM and genes that are important in maintaining genome stability, as well as PARP2 and mismatch repair genes. RPA2 and RPA3 may participate in telomere maintenance through the synthesis of the C strand of telomeres. Errors in NHEJ1 function may lead to translocations. The present results show associations with some genes with known CA phenotype and suggest other pathways with mechanistic rationale for the formation of CAs in healthy nonsmoking population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dnarep.2021.103079DOI Listing
May 2021

Impact of genetic polymorphisms in kinetochore and spindle assembly genes on chromosomal aberration frequency in healthy humans.

Mutat Res 2020 Oct - Dec;858-860:503253. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany; Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ), Heidelberg, Germany; Division of Pediatric Neurooncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Heidelberg, Germany.

Genomic instability is a characteristic of a majority of human malignancies. Chromosomal instability is a common form of genomic instability that can be caused by defects in mitotic checkpoint genes. Chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood are also indicative of genotoxic exposure and potential cancer risk. We evaluated associations between inherited genetic variants in 33 mitotic checkpoint genes and the frequency of chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in the presence and absence of environmental genotoxic exposure. Associations with both chromosome and chromatid type of aberrations were evaluated in two cohorts of healthy individuals, namely an exposed and a reference group consisting of 607 and 866 individuals, respectively. Binary logistic and linear regression analyses were performed for the association studies. Bonferroni-corrected significant p-value was 5 × 10 for 99 tests based on the number of analyzed genes and phenotypes. In the reference group the most prominent associations were found with variants in CCNB1, a master regulator of mitosis, and in genes involved in kinetochore function, including CENPH and TEX14, whereas in the exposed group the main association was found with variants in TTK, also an important gene in kinetochore function. How the identified variants may affect the fidelity of mitotic checkpoint remains to be investigated, however, the present study suggests that genetic variation may partly explain interindividual variation in the formation of CAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2020.503253DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles on the Gene Mutations in V79 Hamster Cells.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2020 Mar 5;10(3). Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Health Effects Laboratory, Department of Environmental Chemistry, NILU-Norwegian Institute for Air Research, N-2027 Kjeller, Norway.

The genotoxicity of anatase/rutile TiO nanoparticles (TiO NPs, NM105 at 3, 15 and 75 µg/cm) was assessed with the mammalian in-vitro Hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase () gene mutation test in Chinese hamster lung (V79) fibroblasts after 24 h exposure. Two dispersion procedures giving different size distribution and dispersion stability were used to investigate whether the effects of TiO NPs depend on the state of agglomeration. TiO NPs were fully characterised in the previous European FP7 projects NanoTEST and NanoREG2. Uptake of TiO NPs was measured by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TiO NPs were found in cytoplasmic vesicles, as well as close to the nucleus. The internalisation of TiO NPs did not depend on the state of agglomeration and dispersion used. The cytotoxicity of TiO NPs was measured by determining both the relative growth activity (RGA) and the plating efficiency (PE). There were no substantial effects of exposure time (24, 48 and 72 h), although a tendency to lower RGA at longer exposure was observed. No significant difference in PE values and no increases in the gene mutant frequency were found in exposed relative to unexposed cultures in spite of evidence of uptake of NPs by cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano10030465DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7153606PMC
March 2020

Distinct pathways associated with chromosomal aberration frequency in a cohort exposed to genotoxic compounds compared to general population.

Mutagenesis 2019 12;34(4):323-330

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Non-specific structural chromosomal aberrations (CAs) observed in peripheral blood lymphocytes of healthy individuals can be either chromosome-type aberrations (CSAs) or chromatid-type aberrations (CTAs) depending on the stage of cell division they are induced in and mechanism of formation. It is important to study the genetic basis of chromosomal instability as it is a marker of genotoxic exposure and a predictor of cancer risk. For that purpose, we conducted two genome-wide association studies (GWASs) on healthy individuals in the presence and absence of apparent genotoxic exposure from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The pre-GWAS cytogenetic analysis reported the frequencies of CSA, CTA and total CA (CAtot). We performed both linear and binary logistic regression analysis with an arbitrary cut-off point of 2% for CAtot and 1% for CSA and CTA. Using the statistical threshold of 1.0 × 10-5, we identified five loci with in silico predicted functionality in the reference group and four loci in the exposed group, with no overlap between the associated regions. A meta-analysis on the two GWASs identified further four loci with moderate associations in each of the studies. From the reference group mainly loci within genes related to DNA damage response/repair were identified. Other loci identified from both the reference and exposed groups were found to be involved in the segregation of chromosomes and chromatin modification. Some of the discovered regions in each group were implicated in tumourigenesis and autism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gez024DOI Listing
December 2019

Consumption of a dark roast coffee blend reduces DNA damage in humans: results from a 4-week randomised controlled study.

Eur J Nutr 2019 Dec 17;58(8):3199-3206. Epub 2018 Nov 17.

Norgenotech AS, Skreia, Norway.

Purpose: To determine the DNA protective effects of a standard coffee beverage in comparison to water consumption.

Methods: The single-blind, randomised controlled study with parallel design included healthy women (n = 50) and men (n = 50) recruited from the general Central European population. The subjects were randomised in a coffee and a control group, with stratification for sex and body mass index. The study comprised two periods of 4 weeks: a preconditioning period, with daily consumption of at least 500 ml water but no coffee, nor tea, nor any other caffeine-containing product. During the subsequent intervention period the coffee group consumed 500 ml of freshly brewed dark roast coffee blend per day, the control group consumed water instead. On the last day of each period, blood was drawn and analysed by comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis) to assess the level of DNA damage (strand breakage).

Results: At the end of the intervention period the mean level of DNA strand breaks in the coffee group has decreased in comparison to the control group [difference in means 0.23% TI (tail intensity), p = 0.028]. The mean change from baseline (delta value) was - 23% in the coffee group (p = 0.0012). Effects of coffee intake were similar for men and women. During intervention, neither group showed any significant change in body weight or calorie intake.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that regular consumption of a dark roast coffee blend has a beneficial protective effect on human DNA integrity in both, men and women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1863-2DOI Listing
December 2019

Genetic variation associated with chromosomal aberration frequency: A genome-wide association study.

Environ Mol Mutagen 2019 01 3;60(1):17-28. Epub 2018 Oct 3.

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany.

Chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) measured with the conventional cytogenetic assay have been used for human biomonitoring of genotoxic exposure for decades. CA frequency in peripheral blood is a marker of cancer susceptibility. Previous studies have shown associations between genetic variants in metabolic pathway, DNA repair and major mitotic checkpoint genes and CAs. We conducted a genome-wide association study on 576 individuals from the Czech Republic and Slovakia followed by a replication in two different sample sets of 482 (replication 1) and 1288 (replication 2) samples. To have a broad look at the genetic susceptibility associated with CA frequency, the sample sets composed of individuals either differentially exposed to smoking, occupational/environmental hazards, or they were untreated cancer patients. Phenotypes were divided into chromosome- and chromatid-type aberrations (CSAs and CTAs, respectively) and total chromosomal aberrations (CAtot). The arbitrary cutoff point between individuals with high and low CA frequency was 2% for CAtot and 1% for CSA and CTA. The data were analyzed using age, sex, occupation/cancer and smoking history as covariates. Altogether 11 loci reached the P-value of 10 in the GWAS. Replication 1 supported the association of rs1383997 (8q13.3) and rs2824215 (21q21.1) in CAtot and rs983889 (5p15.1) in CTA analysis. These loci were found to be associated with genes involved in mitosis, response to environmental and chemical factors and genes involved in syndromes linked to chromosomal abnormalities. Identification of new genetic variants for the frequency of CAs offers prediction tools for cancer risk in future. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 60:17-28, 2019. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/em.22236DOI Listing
January 2019

Genetic variation in the major mitotic checkpoint genes associated with chromosomal aberrations in healthy humans.

Cancer Lett 2016 10 15;380(2):442-446. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.

Non-specific chromosomal aberrations (CAs) are microscopically detected in about 1% of lymphocytes drawn from healthy persons. Causes of CAs in general population are not known but they may be related to risk of cancer. In view of the importance of the mitotic checkpoint machinery on maintaining chromosomal integrity we selected 9 variants in main checkpoint related genes (BUB1B, BUB3, MAD2L1, CENPF, ESPL1/separase, NEK2, PTTG1/securin, ZWILCH and ZWINT) for a genotyping study on samples from healthy individuals (N = 330 to 729) whose lymphocytes had an increased number of CAs compared to persons with a low number of CAs. Genetic variation in individual genes played a minor importance, consistent with the high conservation and selection pressure of the checkpoint system. However, gene pairs were significantly associated with CAs: PTTG1-ZWILCH and PTTG1-ZWINT. MAD2L1 and PTTG1 were the most common partners in any of the two-way interactions. The results suggest that interactions at the level of cohesin (PTTG1) and kinetochore function (ZWINT, ZWILCH and MAD2L1) contribute to the frequency of CAs, suggesting that gene variants at different checkpoint functions appeared to be required for the formation of CAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2016.07.011DOI Listing
October 2016

Automotive airborne brake wear debris nanoparticles and cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay in peripheral blood lymphocytes: A pilot study.

Environ Res 2016 07 29;148:443-449. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

Health Effects Laboratory, Department of Environmental Chemistry, NILU-Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Instituttveien 18, 2007 Kjeller, Norway.

Motor vehicle exhaust and non-exhaust processes play a significant role in environmental pollution, as they are a source of the finest particulate matter. Emissions from non-exhaust processes include wear-products of brakes, tires, automotive hardware, road surface, and traffic signs, but still are paid little attention to. Automotive friction composites for brake pads are composite materials which may consist of potentially hazardous materials and there is a lack of information regarding the potential influence of the brake wear debris (BWD) on the environment, especially on human health. Thus, we focused our study on the genotoxicity of the airborne fraction of BWD using a brake pad model representing an average low-metallic formulation available in the EU market. BWD was generated in the laboratory by a full-scale brake dynamometer and characterized by Raman microspectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy showing that it contains nano-sized crystalline metal-based particles. Genotoxicity tested in human lymphocytes in different testing conditions showed an increase in frequencies of micronucleated binucleated cells (MNBNCs) exposed for 48h to BWD nanoparticles (NPs) (with 10% of foetal calf serum in culture medium) compared with lymphocytes exposed to medium alone, statistically significant only at the concentration 3µg/cm(2) (p=0.032).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2016.04.022DOI Listing
July 2016

Interactions of DNA repair gene variants modulate chromosomal aberrations in healthy subjects.

Carcinogenesis 2015 Nov 8;36(11):1299-306. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany, Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, 20506 Malmö, Sweden and.

Human cancers are often associated with numerical and structural chromosomal instability. Structural chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) arise as consequences of direct DNA damage or due to replication on a damaged DNA template. In both cases, DNA repair is critical and inter-individual differences in its capacity are probably due to corresponding genetic variations. We investigated functional variants in DNA repair genes (base and nucleotide excision repair, double-strand break repair) in relation to CAs, chromatid-type aberrations (CTAs) and chromosome-type aberrations (CSAs) in healthy individuals. Chromosomal damage was determined by conventional cytogenetic analysis. The genotyping was performed by both restriction fragment length polymorphism and TaqMan allelic discrimination assays. Multivariate logistic regression was applied for testing individual factors on CAs, CTAs and CSAs. Pair-wise genotype interactions of 11 genes were constructed for all possible pairs of single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Analysed individually, we observed significantly lower CTA frequencies in association with XPD Lys751Gln homozygous variant genotype [odds ratio (OR) 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.48-0.85, P = 0.004; n = 1777]. A significant association of heterozygous variant genotype in RAD54L with increased CSA frequency (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.01-4.02, P = 0.03) was determined in 282 subjects with available genotype. By addressing gene-gene interactions, we discovered 14 interactions significantly modulating CAs, 9 CTAs and 12 CSAs frequencies. Highly significant interactions included always pairs from two different pathways. Although individual variants in genes encoding DNA repair proteins modulate CAs only modestly, several gene-gene interactions in DNA repair genes evinced either enhanced or decreased CA frequencies suggesting that CAs accumulation requires complex interplay between different DNA repair pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgv127DOI Listing
November 2015

Metabolic gene variants associated with chromosomal aberrations in healthy humans.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2015 Apr 27;54(4):260-6. Epub 2015 Jan 27.

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany; Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.

Nonspecific chromosomal aberrations (CAs) are found in about 1% of lymphocytes drawn from healthy individuals. They include chromosome-type aberrations (CSAs), which are increased in exposure to ionizing radiation, and chromatid-type aberrations (CTAs) which in experimental systems are formed by DNA binding carcinogens and mutagens. The frequency of CAs is associated with the risk of cancer, but the causes of CAs in general population are unknown. Here, we want to test whether variants in metabolic genes associate with CAs in healthy volunteers. Cases were considered those whose total CA (CAtot) frequency was >2% and for CSA and CTA the limit was >1%. Controls had lower frequencies of CAs. Functional polymorphisms in seven genes were selected for analysis: cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1), epoxide hydrolase 1 (EPHX1), NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), each coding for phase 1 enzymes, and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1), glutathione S-transferases M1 (GSTM1) and T1 (GSTT1), coding for enzymes which conjugate reactive metabolites, that is, phase 2 enzymes. The number of volunteers genotyped for each gene varied from 550 to 1,500. Only EPHX1 was individually associated with CAtot; high activity genotypes decreased CAtot. A total of six significant (P < 0.01) pair-wise interactions were observed, most including a GST variant as one of the pair. In all genotype combinations with significant odds ratios for CAs a GST variant was involved. The present data provide evidence that variants in genes coding for metabolic enzymes, which individually have small effects, interact and are associated with CA frequencies in peripheral lymphocytes of healthy volunteers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22239DOI Listing
April 2015

Coating-dependent induction of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of iron oxide nanoparticles.

Nanotoxicology 2015 May 14;9 Suppl 1:44-56. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

Health Effects Laboratory, Department of Environmental Chemistry, NILU, Norwegian Institute for Air Research , Kjeller , Norway .

Surface coatings of nanoparticles (NPs) are known to influence advantageous features of NPs as well as potential toxicity. Iron oxide (Fe3O4) NPs are applied for both medical diagnostics and targeted drug delivery. We investigated the potential cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of uncoated iron oxide (U-Fe3O4) NPs in comparison with oleate-coated iron oxide (OC-Fe3O4) NPs. Testing was performed in vitro in human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells and in primary human blood cells. For cytotoxicity testing, relative growth activity, trypan blue exclusion, (3)H-thymidine incorporation and cytokinesis-block proliferation index were assessed. Genotoxicity was evaluated by the alkaline comet assay for detection of strand breaks and oxidized purines. Particle characterization was performed in the culture medium. Cellular uptake, morphology and pathology were evaluated by electron microscopy. U-Fe3O4 NPs were found not to be cytotoxic (considering interference of NPs with proliferation test) or genotoxic under our experimental conditions. In contrast, OC-Fe3O4 NPs were cytotoxic in a dose-dependent manner, and also induced DNA damage, indicating genotoxic potential. Intrinsic properties of sodium oleate were excluded as a cause of the toxic effect. Electron microscopy data were consistent with the cytotoxicity results. Coating clearly changed the behaviour and cellular uptake of the NPs, inducing pathological morphological changes in the cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17435390.2013.847505DOI Listing
May 2015

Immunotoxicity and genotoxicity testing of PLGA-PEO nanoparticles in human blood cell model.

Nanotoxicology 2015 May;9 Suppl 1:33-43

Department of Immunology and Immunotoxicology and Department of Experimental and Applied Genetics, Slovak Medical University , Bratislava , Slovakia .

A human blood cell model for immunotoxicity and genotoxicity testing was used to measure the response to polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA-PEO) nanoparticle (NP) (0.12, 3, 15 and 75 μg/cm(2) exposure in fresh peripheral whole blood cultures/isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures from human volunteers (n = 9-13). PLGA-PEO NPs were not toxic up to dose 3 μg/cm(2); dose of 75 μg/cm(2) displays significant decrease in [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation into DNA of proliferating cells after 4 h (70% of control) and 48 h (84%) exposure to NPs. In non-cytotoxic concentrations, in vitro assessment of the immunotoxic effects displayed moderate but significant suppression of proliferative activity of T-lymphocytes and T-dependent B-cell response in cultures stimulated with PWM > CON A, and no changes in PHA cultures. Decrease in proliferative function was the most significant in T-cells stimulated with CD3 antigen (up to 84%). Cytotoxicity of natural killer cells was suppressed moderately (92%) but significantly in middle-dosed cultures (4 h exposure). On the other hand, in low PLGA-PEO NPs dosed cultures, significant stimulation of phagocytic activity of granulocytes (119%) > monocytes (117%) and respiratory burst of phagocytes (122%) was recorded. Genotoxicity assessment revealed no increase in the number of micronucleated binucleated cells and no induction of SBs or oxidised DNA bases in PLGA-PEO-treated cells. To conclude on immuno- and genotoxicity of PLGA-PEO NPs, more experiments with various particle size, charge and composition need to be done.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17435390.2013.816798DOI Listing
May 2015

Genotoxicity testing of PLGA-PEO nanoparticles in TK6 cells by the comet assay and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay.

Mutat Res 2012 Oct 17;748(1-2):42-7. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Slovak Medical University, Limbova 14, 83303 Bratislava, Slovakia.

The in vitro genotoxicity of PLGA-PEO (poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid-polyethylene oxide copolymer) nanoparticles was assessed in TK6 cells using the comet assay as well as cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay. The cells were exposed to 0.12-75μg/cm² of PLGA-PEO nanoparticles during 2 and 24h for analysis in the comet assay, and to 3-75μg/cm² of these nanoparticles during 4, 24, 48 and 72h, respectively, for analysis in the CBMN assay. Two different protocols for treatment with cytochalasin B were used. We found that PLGA-PEO was neither cytotoxic (measured by relative cell growth activity and cytokinesis-block proliferation index (CBPI)), nor did it induce DNA strand-breaks (detected by the comet assay) or oxidative DNA lesions (measured by the comet assay modified with lesion-specific enzyme formamidopyrimidine-DNA-glycosylase). There were no statistically significant differences in the frequencies of micronucleated binucleated cells (MNBNCs) between untreated and treated cells in either of the conditions used. This suggests that PLGA-PEO did not have potential genotoxicity. However, using two experimental protocols of the micronucleus assay, PLGA-PEO nanoparticles showed a weak but significant increase in the level of MN in mononucleated cells, in cells treated for 48h with PLGA-PEO nanoparticles when cytochalasin B was added for the last 24h (1st protocol), and in cells treated for 24h with PLGA-PEO nanoparticles followed by washing of NPs and addition of cytochalasin B for another 24h (2nd protocol). It remains unclear whether the increase of MNMNC after treatment with PLGA-PEO nanoparticles is the effect of a possible, weak aneugenic potential or early effect of these particles, or due to another reason. These results suggest that aneugenicity in addition to clastogenicity may be considered as an important biomarker when assessing the genotoxic potential of polymeric nanoparticles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2012.06.012DOI Listing
October 2012

Micronuclei and chromosomal aberrations, important markers of ageing: possible association with XPC and XPD polymorphisms.

Mutat Res 2009 Feb 5;661(1-2):35-40. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

Research Base of the Slovak Medical University, Limbová 14, 833 01 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Life expectancy in central-Eastern European countries is more than 10 years lower compared with Northern or Western countries which could be the result of complex factors including genetics, nutrition and life style. We conducted a molecular epidemiological study with the aim of investigating links between DNA instability, genetic polymorphisms in nucleotide excision repair genes and ageing. Two groups-151 young people (78 women and 73 men) aged 20-25, and 140 elderly subjects (101 women and 39 men), aged 65-70 have been investigated. Results show elevated levels of micronuclei and chromosome aberrations in elderly compared with young groups (P<0.001); women had more micronuclei than men (P<0.001). Micronucleus frequencies were influenced by age (P<0.001). In the group of elderly people those who were homozygous with C/C or A/A in XPC IVS11 had more aberrant cells compared with C/A heterozygotes (P=0.04). When the dependent variable was break per cell, elderly people A/A homozygous in XPC IVS11 had more breaks per cell compared with C/A heterozygous or C/C homozygous subjects (P=0.03). Significantly the most chromatid breaks were found in elderly people both Lys/Lys homozygous in the XPD Lys751Gln genotype and C/C or A/A homozygous in the XPC IVS11 genotype (P<0.05). A General Linear Model analysis shows a statistically significant effect of interactions between age, sex and genotype XPC IVS11 (P=0.001) and age, sex and genotype XPCin9 (P=0.007) on number of chromatid breaks. When we divided people into two subgroups (without mutant allele and with one or two mutant alleles) we found a significantly higher number of chromosome exchanges in people with one or two variant polymorphism XPCin9 (P=0.04), XPC IVS11 (P=0.004) or XPCex15 (P=0.001). Level of cells with micronuclei was influenced by polymorphisms XPD Lys751Gln (P=0.03). However, we did not find any relationship between XPA polymorphism and studied cytogenetic biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2008.10.017DOI Listing
February 2009

Genetic predisposition and health effect of occupational exposure to asbestos.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2006 Dec;27 Suppl 2:100-3

Research Base of Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Objectives: As asbestos presents a direct genetic hazard for humans, a small-scale molecular epidemiological study was conducted to monitor 61 subjects long-term exposed to asbestos in comparison with 49 town controls and 21 control subjects from administration of the same factory.

Results: Asbestos exposed workers had significantly higher numbers of chromosomal aberrations compared with both control groups (P=0.003). Clinical examination showed that 44.3% of exposed workers developed symptoms of asbestosis. We were interested in the relationship between the risk of asbestos-coupled diseases and individual variability in biotransformation enzymes, especially in glutathione S-transferases and microsomal epoxide hydrolase. GSTP1*105Val allele appeared less in the group of workers with asbestosis compared to those without asbestosis (18.5% vs 34.7%, P=0.044), and in subjects with developed asbestosis coupled with bronchitis compared to those without bronchitis (0% vs 25%, P=0.048). Similarly, the genotype corresponding to low activity of microsomal epoxide hydrolase was significantly decreased in workers with fibrotic plaques compared to those without plaques (26.7% vs 56.3%, P=0.045).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that GSTP1*105Val allele and low EPHX1 activity genotype may be protective for people occupationally exposed to asbestos. However, more extensive studies are needed to confirm our results.
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December 2006

The relationship between micronuclei in human lymphocytes and selected micronutrients in vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Mutat Res 2006 Dec 15;611(1-2):64-70. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Research Base of Slovak Medical University, Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Limbová 14, 833 01 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

A vegetarian diet results in higher intake of vitamins and micronutrients, which - although providing antioxidant defence - may lead to deficiency in other micronutrients involved in DNA metabolism and stability (such as vitamins belonging to the B group). The principal difference among various vegetarian diets is the extent to which animal products are avoided. We have performed a pilot study to determine the relationship between the micronucleus frequency in lymphocytes and diet, and we compared the levels of Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, B(12), folic acid, homocysteine and total antioxidant capacity in healthy vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The vegetarian group, consisting of 24 volunteers (13 women and 11 men), were matched for age and sex with 24 volunteers (12 women and 12 men) with a traditional dietary habit. Among the vegetarians were 13 lacto-ovo-vegetarians with average duration of vegetarian diet 10.8 years (ranging from 5 to 26 years) and 11 lacto-vegetarians with average duration of vegetarian diet 8.2 years (ranging from 3 to 15 years). Homocysteine, Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene levels in plasma were assayed by HPLC, and serum folate and Vitamin B(12) were determined with Elecsys Immunoassay tests. The total antioxidant capacity of plasma was estimated by measuring the ferric-reducing activity in a spectrophotometric assay. Micronuclei were measured in cytokinesis-blocked lymphocytes. Vegetarians had significantly higher levels of Vitamin C and beta-carotene (but not Vitamin E) in plasma compared with non-vegetarians (P<0.001). There were no significant differences in serum levels of folic acid and Vitamin B(12) between the monitored groups. Levels of folic acid in vegetarians correlated with length of vegetarianism (r=0.62, P=0.001, N=24). Vegetarians had elevated levels of homocysteine compared with non-vegetarians (P=0.007), as did vegetarian women compared with non-vegetarian women (P=0.031). We did not find any differences in total antioxidant capacity or in micronucleus frequency between the groups. Micronuclei correlated with age (r=0.62, P<0.001, N=48), women having higher frequencies than men. Multifactorial regression analysis showed significant effects of age, sex and total antioxidant capacity on micronucleus frequency (N=48, P<0.001).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2006.08.001DOI Listing
December 2006

Does occupational exposure to mineral fibres cause DNA or chromosome damage?

Mutat Res 2004 Sep;553(1-2):103-10

Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Research Base of the Slovak Medical University, Limbova 12, 833 03 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Markers of genetic stability were monitored in lymphocytes from 98 workers employed in rockwool manufacture in a factory in the Slovak Republic, and 43 controls (administrative employees in the same factory). Strand breaks in lymphocyte DNA were higher in exposed compared to control non-smokers, but there was no effect of exposure on specific damage to bases in DNA, nor on chromosome aberrations. The frequency of micronuclei was higher in women in the control group than in rockwool-exposed women. DNA repair (8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase activity) was unaffected by exposure, but was negatively correlated with micronucleus frequency, implying that unrepaired 8-oxoguanine contributes to micronucleus formation. The conclusion from this study is that, overall, rockwool exposure has no deleterious effect on genetic stability in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2004.06.029DOI Listing
September 2004

Genotoxic effects of asbestos in humans.

Mutat Res 2004 Sep;553(1-2):91-102

Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Slovak Medical University, Limbová 12, Bratislava 83303, Slovak Republic.

Risks of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects from asbestos continue owing to the persistence of the fibres in building materials and other products. For this reason, epidemiological and mechanistic research on the toxic effects of asbestos and mineral fibres is still needed. The present molecular epidemiological study was conducted in a former asbestos cement plant in Slovakia. Altogether 82 subjects were investigated, 61 exposed subjects (24 smokers and 37 non-smokers), and 21 factory controls (8 smokers and 13 non-smokers). Workers were exposed to asbestos for between 5 and 40 years. Though the exposure to asbestos during past 40 years was relatively high, at the time of sampling the concentrations of asbestos in the production hall exceeded the Slovak occupational limit (0.001 fibre/cm3) by a factor of only 3-5. The office area levels were below this limit. Biomarkers of exposure, effect and individual susceptibility were measured, including DNA damage (strand breaks [SBs], base oxidation and alkylation, using the comet assay); cytogenetic parameters; and individual DNA repair capacity (incision at 8-oxoguanine measured using a modified comet assay). Oxidised pyrimidines were significantly higher in exposed men compared with non-exposed (P = 0.04). There was also a positive association between SBs (P = 0.04) and age, and alkylation damage to DNA (P = 0.04) and age. Moreover, oxidised pyrimidines (P = 0.01) and alkylated bases (P = 0.001) strongly correlated with years of occupational exposure. Micronucleus frequency did not differ between exposed and control subjects. Repair capacity overall did not show any effect of exposure, though female controls had higher incision rates than did female exposed subjects. However, exposed asbestos workers had significantly higher numbers of chromosomal aberrations (P = 0.01) compared with control group. This finding is consistent with the known association of chromosome aberrations with cancer-risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2004.06.027DOI Listing
September 2004

Does a vegetarian diet influence genomic stability?

Eur J Nutr 2004 Feb 6;43(1):32-8. Epub 2004 Jan 6.

Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Limbová 14, 83301, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Background: The vegetarian lifestyle is supposedly healthy, and differences between vegetarians and non-vegetarians in biomarkers related to diseases such as cancer might be expected.

Aim Of The Study: To investigate the possible role of different diets in maintaining genomic stability.

Methods: The vegetarian group, consisting of 24 volunteers (13 women and 11 men), were matched for age and sex with 24 volunteers (12 women and 12 men) with a traditional dietary habit. Among vegetarians there were 13 lacto-ovo-vegetarians (8 women, 5 men) with average length of vegetarian diet 10.8 years (ranging from 5 to 26) and 11 lacto-vegetarians (5 women, 6 men) with average length of vegetarian diet 8.2 years (ranging from 3 to15). All volunteers were nonsmokers, non-consumers of alcohol and had similar education and patterns of physical activity. Chromosome aberrations, micronuclei and DNA damage (strand breaks, oxidised bases and H(2)O(2)-sensitivity) were examined in peripheral blood lymphocytes of vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Plasma antioxidant status was assessed with the FRAP assay.

Results: We did not find any differences in percentage of cells with chromosome aberrations or in the frequency of micronuclei between vegetarians and non-vegetarians or between lacto-ovo and lacto-vegetarians. There was no statistically significant difference in total antioxidant capacity between the groups. The group with traditional dietary habits had significantly higher levels of oxidative DNA damage (strand breaks and oxidised purines, P = 0.005) compared with vegetarians. A significant positive correlation between age and oxidative DNA damage (net FPG-sensitive sites) was found in non-vegetarians, while there was an opposite trend towards a negative association in vegetarians. On the other hand chromosome aberrations correlated with age in vegetarians (r = 0.48, P = 0.017) but not in non-vegetarians.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that a vegetarian diet can lead to a slight decrease in oxidative DNA damage in lymphocytes, but other markers of genetic stability are not affected. The lowest level of DNA damage was found in lymphocytes of lactovegetarians, (especially oxidised pyrimidines, P = 0.0017), suggesting that this diet provides some protection against oxidative stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-004-0436-8DOI Listing
February 2004

Effect of dietary intake of vitamin A or E on the level of DNA damage, chromosomal aberrations, and micronuclei induced in freshly isolated rat hepatocytes by different carcinogens.

Nutr Cancer 2002 ;42(1):117-24

Cancer Research Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 833 91 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Hepatocytes freshly isolated from male Wistar rats fed a common diet or a vitamin A- or vitamin E-supplemented diet (each for 21, 28, or 41 days) were assayed for sensitivity to DNA breakage and cytogenetic changes induced by carcinogens. Different indirectly acting carcinogens were assayed. N-nitrosomorpholine (NMOR) was the only agent that induced DNA breaks, chromosomal aberrations, and micronuclei in all experiments. Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]p) and dimethyldibenzo [c,g]carbazole (diMeDBC) induced only DNA breaks in all experiments. Occasionally, B[a]P induced chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei, and diMeDBC induced micronuclei, but not chromosomal aberrations. These results demonstrated that the tested carcinogens assayed at concentrations highly effective in a hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase/V79 system significantly increased DNA damage, while cytogenetic changes were less frequent. In hepatocytes from rats fed vitamin A, a reduction in the severity of all three end points was observed after NMOR treatment. After B[a]P treatment, we found a reduction in DNA breaks and chromosomal aberrations; after treatment with diMeDBC, we observed a reduction in DNA breaks. Treatment with vitamin E was less effective: it reduced DNA strand breaks induced by B[a]P and partially reduced those induced by diMeDBC and NMOR and the level of micronuclei induced by NMOR and B[a]P. Both vitamins reduced the level of DNA strand breaks induced by the oxidative effect of a visible light-excited photosensitizer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15327914NC421_16DOI Listing
January 2003