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Free Radic Res. 2003 Dec;37(12):1299-305.

Benzo[a]pyrene enhances lipid peroxidation induced DNA damage in aorta of apolipoprotein E knockout mice.

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German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Div. Toxicology and Cancer Risk Factors, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


The genotoxic compound benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) enhances atherosclerotic plaque progression, possibly by inducing oxidative stress and subsequent lipid peroxidation (LPO). Since LPO plays a key role in atherosclerosis, stable LPO derived DNA modifications such as 1,N6-ethenodeoxy-adenosine (epsilondA) and 3,N4-ethenodeoxy-cytidine (epsilondC) may be useful biomarkers for in vivo oxidative stress. In this study, benzo[a]pyrene-diol-epoxide (BPDE)-DNA, epsilondA and epsilondC were determined by 32P-postlabelling in apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE-KO) mice treated with 5mg/kg B[a]P by gavage. After 4 days, BPDE-DNA adduct levels were higher in aorta (10.8 +/- 1.4 adducts/10(8) nucleotides) than in lung (3.3 +/- 0.7, P < 0.05), which is a known target organ for B[a]P. Levels of epsilondA were higher in aorta of B[a]P-exposed animals than in unexposed controls (8.1 +/- 4.4 vs 3.4 +/- 2.1 adducts per 10(8) parent nucleotides, P < 0.05). On the other hand, epsilondC levels were not affected by B[a]P exposure. Serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels were lower in B[a]P-exposed mice than in controls (9.3 +/- 3.7 and 13.3 +/- 4.0mmol/l, respectively), whereas high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels were higher (1.4 +/- 1.6 and 0.4 +/- 0.3mmol/l, respectively). Consequently, a three-fold difference in the LDL/HDL ratio was observed (P = 0.001). epsilondA levels were positively related with plasma HDL concentrations (R = 0.68, P = 0.02), suggesting that the HDL mediated protection of the vessel wall against reactive lipid peroxides was reduced in B[a]P-exposed apoE-KO mice. Our observations show that direct as well as lipid peroxidation induced DNA damage is formed by B[a]P in aorta of apoE-KO mice, which may be involved in atherosclerotic plaque progression. This study further indicates that etheno-DNA adducts are useful biomarkers for in vivo oxidative stress in atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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