Chemoprevention of smoke-related DNA adduct formation in rat lung and heart

Alberto Izzotti, Roumen M. Balansky, Nadia Coscia, Leonardo Scatolini, Francesco D'Agostini, Silvio De Flora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The formation of smoke-related DNA adducts and their chemoprevention were investigated in tissues of male Sprague-Dawley rats, by testing a total of 132 DNA samples by synchronous fluorescence spectrophotometry (SFS), which mainly detects benzo[a]pyrene diolepoxide (BPDE)-DNA adducts. Groups of six animals each were exposed whole-body to mainstream cigarette smoke, once daily, for up to 40 consecutive days. No adduct was revealed in liver DNA, whereas smoke-related DNA adducts were detectable in the hing from the 8th day of exposure and continued to increase until the 40th day. Adducts to heart DNA, which were monitored after 28 and 40 days of exposure, attained even higher levels than those detected in the lungs of the same animals. A high correlation existed between the amounts of smoke-related DNA adducts measured in these two organs. The daily administration by gavage of the thiol N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), an effective mutation and cancer chemopreventive agent, which had been previously shown to inhibit the formation of SFS-positive DNA adducts in rats receiving intratracheal instillations of benzo[a]pyrene, significantly prevented occurrence of the same adducts in both heart and lungs of smoke-exposed rats. No fluorescence signal was observed in liver, lung, or heart DNA of sham-exposed animals. The findings of this molecular dosimetry study complement the results of parallel histopathologic, cytogenetic, biochemical and metabolic analyses of tissues and cells from the same rats, providing evidence for a variety of significant alterations produced by exposure to cigarette smoke and for the specific protective role of NAC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2187-2190
Number of pages4
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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