Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) generates reactive products that may cause DNA damage. To examine the possible relationship between DNA damage in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and the concentration of PUFA in red blood cells (RBC), endogenous DNA strand breaks, formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG) sites, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) sensitive sites were evaluated by the comet assay in blood samples from 98 Icelandic women. Fatty acid composition of RBC was analyzed by gas chromatography. Endogenous DNA strand breaks in PBMC correlated positively with the concentration of total PUFA, total n-3 PUFA, docosahexaenoic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid in RBC. However, there was no association between FPG sites or H(2)O(2) sensitive sites in DNA in PBMC and the concentration of total PUFA or total saturated fatty acid in RBC. As there was no association between oxidative DNA damage or sensitivity of DNA to oxidative stress and the concentration of PUFA in RBC, the positive association between endogenous DNA strand breaks in PBMC and the concentration of total PUFA in RBC is probably not related to oxidative stress.