Publications by authors named "Marta Staruchova"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

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

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

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles tested for genotoxicity with the comet and micronucleus assays in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo.

Mutat Res 2019 07 2;843:57-65. Epub 2019 May 2.

NILU-Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway.

The genotoxicity of TiO nanoparticles (NPs) was assessed with the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay in TK6 lymphoblastoid cells, lymphocytes from human volunteers, and bone marrow erythrocytes from rats exposed in vivo; and with the comet assay (detecting both strand breaks and oxidised purines) in human and rat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). NPs were dispersed using three different methods giving different size distribution and stability. On average, TiO NPs caused no increase in micronuclei in TK6 cells, rat bone marrow erythrocytes or human lymphocytes (though lymphocytes from 3 out of 13 human subjects showed significant increases). PBMCs from rats treated in vivo with a single dose of NPs dispersed by a method with low agglomeration showed an increase in strand breaks after 1 day. TiO NPs dispersed in a stable, non-agglomerated state induced DNA strand breaks at 75 μg/cm after 4 h exposure of human PBMCs and at 15 μg/cm and 75 μg/cm after 24 h exposure, but no increase in DNA oxidation was seen. Overall, NPs in an agglomerated state did not cause DNA damage. However, at the individual level, significant increases in strand breaks were seen in PBMCs from most of the volunteers. Cells from one volunteer showed positive effects in all conditions and both tests, while cells from another volunteer appeared to be completely resitant to TiO NPs. The implication is that some individuals may be more sensitive than others to effects of this nanomaterial. Differences seen in results obtained with the micronucleus and the comet assay may be due to the mechanisms underlying the genotoxic effects of TiO NPs and the different endpoints represented by the two assays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2019.05.001DOI Listing
July 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

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

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

Health effects of selected nanoparticles in vivo: liver function and hepatotoxicity following intravenous injection of titanium dioxide and Na-oleate-coated iron oxide nanoparticles in rodents.

Nanotoxicology 2015 May;9 Suppl 1:95-105

Slovak Medical University , Bratislava , Slovakia .

The study determined the effect of intravenous administration of acutely toxic or sub-lethal doses of Na-oleate-coated Fe3O4 (OC-Fe3O4) nanoparticles (NPs) on liver structure and function in Wistar rats, compared to titanium dioxide (TiO2) NPs and saline-injected controls. The acute study, using a modified OECD 425 progressive dosing procedure, found LD50 values of 59.22 and 36.42 mg/kg for TiO2 and OC-Fe3O4 NPs, respectively. In the sub-lethal study, rats were either injected with saline (negative controls), a sub-lethal reference (0.592 mg/kgTiO2 NPs, equal to 1% of LD50 on a body weight basis) or OC-Fe3O4 NPs in doses equivalent to 0.1, 1 or 10% of the LD50, respectively (corresponding to 0.0364, 0.364 and 3.64 mg Fe3O4/kg body weight). Animals were sampled 24 h, 1, 2 and 4 weeks post-injection for adverse effects. Mitochondrial respiration was significantly increased 2 weeks after injection of 10% OC-Fe3O4 NPs compared to controls, but the effect was transient. Cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations in the liver tissue did not increase in any treatment. There were some disturbances to antioxidant enzymes after OC-Fe3O4 NPs treatment in the livers of animals 1 week post-exposure; with the most sensitive changes occurring in glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities. Lipidosis and mild necrosis with changes in sinusoid space were also observed in histological sections of the liver. Overall, these data suggest that the liver likely retains functional integrity with acute and sub-lethal doses of OC-Fe3O4 NPs, albeit with some stimulation of redox defences and evidence of some tissue injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17435390.2013.815285DOI Listing
May 2015

Comprehensive assessment of nephrotoxicity of intravenously administered sodium-oleate-coated ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles in rats.

Nanotoxicology 2014 Mar 21;8(2):142-57. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

Institute of Molecular Biomedicine, Medical Faculty, Comenius University , Bratislava , Slovakia.

As a main excretory organ, kidney is predisposed to direct/indirect injury. We addressed the potential nephrotoxic effects following expositions of healthy rats to nanoparticle (NP) loads relevant to humans in a situation of 100% bioavailability. Up to 4 weeks after administration, a single iv bolus of oleate-coated ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs (in dose of 0.1%, 1.0% and 10.0% of LD50) or TiO2 NPs (1.0% of LD50) did not elicit decline in renal function, damage to proximal tubules, alterations in: renal histology or expression of pro-inflammatory/pro-fibrotic genes, markers of systemic or local renal micro-inflammation or oxidative damage. Antioxidant enzyme activities in renal cortex, mildly elevated at 24 h, completely restored at later time points. Data obtained by multifaceted approach enable the prediction of human nephrotoxicity during preclinical studies, and may serve as comparison for alternative testing strategies using in vitro and in silico methods essential for the NP-nephrotoxicity risk assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17435390.2012.763147DOI Listing
March 2014

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

Are glutathione S transferases involved in DNA damage signalling? Interactions with DNA damage and repair revealed from molecular epidemiology studies.

Mutat Res 2012 Aug 20;736(1-2):130-7. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway.

Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are members of a multigene family of isoenzymes that are important in the control of oxidative stress and in phase II metabolism. Acting non-enzymically, GSTs can modulate signalling pathways of cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis. Using a molecular epidemiology approach, we have investigated a potential involvement of GSTs in DNA damage processing, specifically the modulation of DNA repair in a group of 388 healthy adult volunteers; 239 with at least 5 years of occupational exposure to asbestos, stone wool or glass fibre, and 149 reference subjects. We measured DNA damage in lymphocytes using the comet assay (alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis): strand breaks (SBs) and alkali-labile sites, oxidised pyrimidines with endonuclease III, and oxidised purines with formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase. We also measured GST activity in erythrocytes, and the capacity for base excision repair (BER) in a lymphocyte extract. Polymorphisms in genes encoding three GST isoenzymes were determined, namely deletion of GSTM1 and GSTT1 and single nucleotide polymorphism Ile105Val in GSTP1. Consumption of vegetables and wine correlated negatively with DNA damage and modulated BER. GST activity correlated with oxidised bases and with BER capacity, and differed depending on polymorphisms in GSTP1, GSTT1 and GSTM1. A significantly lower BER rate was associated with the homozygous GSTT1 deletion in all asbestos site subjects and in the corresponding reference group. Multifactorial analysis revealed effects of sex and exposure in GSTP1 Ile/Val heterozygotes but not in Ile/Ile homozygotes. These variants affected also SBs levels, mainly by interactions of GSTP1 genotype with exposure, with sex, and with smoking habit; and by an interaction between sex and smoking. Our results show that GST polymorphisms and GST activity can apparently influence DNA stability and repair of oxidised bases, suggesting a potential new role for these proteins in DNA damage processing via DNA damage signalling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2012.03.003DOI Listing
August 2012

Association between the human immune response and body mass index.

Hum Immunol 2012 May 6;73(5):480-5. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Department of Immunology and Immunotoxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Slovak Medical University in Bratislava, Limbova 12, 833 03 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

The aim of this study was to determine the strength of the association between the human immune response and body mass index (BMI) and whether differences exist in the effects of obesity on selected immune parameters between men and women. Two hundred ninety participants were divided into groups according to sex and BMI. Parameters CD3, CD4, CD8, CD16+56, CD19, HLADR, CD11b, CD11c, and CD54 were quantified. Leukocyte and differential counts were performed. We observed elevation with regard to the normal weight group in the parameters of white blood cells, neutrophils, monocytes, CD3, CD4, CD19, and CD11b for the whole study group. A decrease was observed in the expression of CD16+56. The effect of BMI on the immune system was much more apparent in women. BMI was correlated with the majority of the measured parameters, reflecting a strong association between BMI and the human immune system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humimm.2012.02.023DOI Listing
May 2012

Occupational exposure to mineral fibres. Biomarkers of oxidative damage and antioxidant defence and associations with DNA damage and repair.

Mutagenesis 2008 Jul 14;23(4):249-60. Epub 2008 Feb 14.

Research Base of Slovak Medical University, Limbová 12, 833 03 Bratislava, Slovakia.

In order to study the effect of mineral wool exposure on oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation, an epidemiological study was conducted in a mineral wool factory in Slovakia. Altogether 141 subjects were investigated (21-58 years old), 43 controls (20 men and 23 women: 27 non-smokers, 16 smokers) and 98 exposed (75 men and 23 women: 61 non-smokers, 37 smokers). We found higher malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the group of all exposed workers (P = 0.025) and in exposed non-smokers (P = 0.003) and a significantly suppressed activity of ceruloplasmin oxidase (P = 0.02, P < 0.02, respectively) and catalase (CAT) (P = 0.04, P = 0.01, respectively) in these groups. The activity of glutathione S-transferase (GST) was affected by exposure to mineral wool; levels were significantly lower in all exposed subjects (P = 0.04), in the exposed non-smokers (P = 0.03) and in exposed men (P < 0.01). Concentrations of vitamin C in plasma and the ferric-reducing activity of plasma (FRAP) were not affected by the mineral wool exposure. There was a significant negative correlation between the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and MDA in the whole group (P < 0.01) and in the exposed group and between CAT activity and MDA in all subjects (P < 0.01). GST activity correlated inversely with oxidized pyrimidines in lymphocyte DNA, in almost all subgroups. We found significant negative correlations between DNA repair and GPX in all subjects (P = 0.03) as well as in control men (P < 0.03) and between DNA repair and CAT in all control subjects (P < 0.02) and in control men (P < 0.01). Interestingly, we found a positive correlation between DNA repair and MDA in all subjects (P < 0.01) and in all exposed subjects (P < 0.03). The presented results indicate that mineral wool exposure induces an increase in oxidative damage to biomolecules especially in the group of male non-smokers. However, optimal levels of antioxidants could have a protective effect. Biomarkers such as MDA, antioxidant enzymes and antioxidant vitamins measured in blood may be useful biomarkers of oxidative stress and antioxidant protection. We do not recommend FRAP as a marker of antioxidant status as interference from other constituents can provide false or confusing results. Our study supports the idea that there might also be other mechanisms by which antioxidant enzymes (especially GST) protect cells against oxidative DNA damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gen004DOI Listing
July 2008

Importance of diet in protection against oxidative damage.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2006 Dec;27 Suppl 2:112-5

Research Base of Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Objectives: In humans, epidemiological evidence suggests that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables can substantially enhance the protection against many common types of cancer.

Methods & Results: A molecular epidemiological study in 3 Slovak factories producing asbestos, glass fibres and rockwool was conducted. Altogether 388 subjects (239 exposed, 148 controls) were investigated. Food frequency questionnaire was used to ascertain nutrient intake and compared to plasma levels of selected micronutrients, as well as to markers of oxidative stress (MDA, oxidative DNA damage and DNA repair) and antioxidant protection. We found a negative correlation between MDA concentrations and consumption of fruits (p=0.05) and vegetables (p=0.05) in all control subjects. Intake of fruits (p=0.05), vegetables (p=0.01), milk (p=0.01) and cereals (p=0.05) inversely correlated with oxidative DNA damage (net FPG) in all subjects investigated. There was a negative correlation between the intake of fruits (p=0.05) and vegetables (p=0.01) in all exposed subjects.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that well balanced food consumption with higher fruits and vegetables intake has a protective effect against oxidative damage.
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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

Multinucleate cells (MNC) as sensitive semiquantitative biomarkers of the toxic effect after experimental fibrous dust and cigarette smoke inhalation by rats.

Exp Toxicol Pathol 2005 Aug;57(1):77-87

Slovak Medical University-Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, SK-83303 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Changes in the counts of binucleate (BNC) and multinucleate cells (MNC) in cell mixtures from lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) as well as in proportions of four types of BALF cells: Alveolar macrophages (AM), lymphocytes, polymorphonuclears (PMN), BNC and in total BALF protein were followed in a study comparing the toxicity of wollastonite with that of amosite asbestos in Fischer 344 rats. Both of the fibrous dusts were inhaled every second day at 30 or 60 mg/m3 air combined with daily exposure to cigarette smoke at 30 mg of total particulate matter (TPM)/m3 air for 1 h. The exposures lasted 175 days. Both, proportions of BNC as well as of MNC in lung cell mixtures rose significantly after exposure to cigarette smoke only. After inhalation of wollastonite the BNC proportions in all except the lower dust exposure group compared to controls showed a significant rise with the maximal factor value of 2.1 in the higher dust plus smoke exposure group. Wollastonite caused only marginal changes in MNC and other inflammation parameters. After inhalation of amosite at comparing to controls the proportion of BNC rose 8 times in the 30 mg/m3 and 11 times in the 60 mg/m3 exposure group, respectively. The effect of smoking was additive. The proportions of MNC were 39 times higher in the 30 mg/m3 and 41 times higher in the 60 mg/m3 amosite exposure group than in controls. In the higher exposure group the effect of smoking was synergic in that the MNC proportion rose about 58 times over control values from 0.05% up to about 3.0% (99% confidence interval--CI = 2.7-3.3%). The other followed inflammation parameters showed the presence of inflammation in the lung. It could be concluded that wollastonite at the same inhalation exposure concentration caused in rats less toxic effects than amosite, and, that the number of MNC, as well as BNC in lung cell mixtures and in BALF may serve as an important semiquantitative biomarker of inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.etp.2005.04.003DOI Listing
August 2005

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