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Toxicol Lett. 2005 Jul 28;158(1):10-9.

Differences in DNA-damage in non-smoking men and women exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

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Department of Nutrition, University of Nevada, 1664N Virginia/MS 142, Reno, NV 89557, USA.


There is much data implicating environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the development and progression of disease, notably cancer, yet the mechanisms for this remain unclear. As ETS is both a pro-oxidant stressor and carcinogen, we investigated the relationship of ETS exposure to intracellular and serum levels of DNA-damage, both oxidative 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG) and general, in non-smokers from non-smoking households, occupationally exposed to ETS. General DNA-damage consisting of single and double strand breaks, alkali-labile sites and incomplete base-excision repair, increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner with ETS exposure in men (P=0.015, n=32, Pearson) but not women (P=0.736, n=17). Intracellular 8OHdG-DNA-damage and general DNA-damage were both greater in men than women (P=0.0005 and 0.016, respectively) but 8OHdG serum levels did not differ between the genders. Neither 8OHdG-DNA-damage nor serum levels correlated with increasing ETS exposure. This is the first study to demonstrate dose-dependent increases in DNA-damage from workplace ETS exposure. Perhaps most interesting was that despite equivalent ETS exposure, significantly greater DNA-damage occurred in men than women. These data may begin to provide a mechanistic rationale for the generally higher incidence of some diseases in males due to tobacco smoke and/or other genotoxic stressors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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