Application of the Alkaline Comet Assay for Detecting Oxidative DNA Damage in Human Biomonitoring

인체 산화적 DNA손상에 대한 Human Biomonitoring도구로서 Alkaline Comet Assay의 활용 가능성 연구

  • 박은주 (경남대학교 자연과학대학 생명과학부) ;
  • 강명희 (한남대학교 이과대학 식품영양학과)
  • Published : 2002.03.01


The alkaline comet assay has been used with increasing popularity to investigate the level of DNA damage in biomonitoring studies within the last decade in Western countries. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of the alkaline comet assay as a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage for monitoring in the Korean population, and also to evaluate the effect of nutritional status and lifestyle factors on H2O2 induced oxidative DNA damage measured by the alkaline comet assay in human lymphocytes. The study population consisted of 61 healthy Korean male volunteers, aged 20-28. Epidemiological background data including dietary habits, smoking habits and anthropometrical measurements were collected through personal interviews. After blood collection, the comet assay in peripheral lymphocytes and plasma lipids analysis was carried out and the results analyzed. Tail moment (TM) and tail length (TL) of the comet assay were use\ulcorner to measure DNA damage in the lymphocytes of the subjects. Statistically significant (p < 0.05) positive correlations were observed between DNA damage (TM or TL) and smoking habits expressed as cigarettes smoked per day and pack years (r = 0.311 and 0.382 for TM, r = 0.294 and 0.350 for TL, respectively). There were also significant positive correlations between DNA damage parameter and waist-hip ratio. Higher plasma triglyceride levels were associated with increased damage to DNA. There were no correlations between the consumption frequencies of vegetables and DNA damage to the subjects. However, consumption frequencies of fruit and fruit juice intake were inversely associated with the TM and TL. The results indicate that die comet assay is a simple, rapid and sensitive method for detecting lymphocyte DNA damage induced by cigarette smoking. Consumption of fruit or fruit juices could potentiall modify the damaged DNA in the human peripheral lymphocytes of young Korean men.


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