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Mutat Res. 2002 Oct 31;508(1-2):83-97.

Niacin deficiency increases spontaneous and etoposide-induced chromosomal instability in rat bone marrow cells in vivo.

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Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) binds to DNA single and double strand breaks and uses NAD in the synthesis of poly(ADP-ribose) (pADPr). Niacin deficiency in rats decreases bone marrow NAD(+) and limits pADPr synthesis in response to DNA damage, while pharmacological supplementation with nicotinic acid (NA) increases bone marrow NAD(+) and pADPr. The purpose of this study was to determine if niacin status alters the extent of DNA damage and chromosomal instability before and after treatment with the chemotherapy drug etoposide (ETO). Genotoxicity was evaluated using the comet, micronucleus and sister chromatid exchange (SCE) assays. Male Long-Evans rats were fed niacin deficient (ND), or pair-fed (PF) niacin replete (30mg niacin/kg) or NA supplemented (4g niacin/kg) diets for 3 weeks. Rats were gavaged with ETO (1-25mg/kg) suspended in corn oil or an equal volume of vehicle (CON). Comet analysis demonstrated that ETO-induced DNA damage (mean tail moment (MTM) and proportion of cells with significant damage) was greater in bone marrow cells from ND rats, compared to PF or NA rats. Surprisingly, niacin deficiency alone caused 6.2- and 2.8-fold increases in spontaneous micronucleus formation and SCE frequency, respectively. As expected, ETO treatment increased the level of micronuclei (MN) and SCEs in all diet groups; however, the absolute increases were greater in ND bone marrow. These data show that niacin is required for the maintenance of chromosomal stability and may facilitate DNA repair in vivo, in a tissue that is sensitive to niacin depletion and impaired pADPr metabolism. Pharmacological intakes of niacin do not appear to be further protective compared to adequate intakes. Niacin supplementation may help to protect the bone marrow cells of cancer patients with compromised nutritional status from the side effects of genotoxic chemotherapy drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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