DNA aneuploidy relationship with patient age and tobacco smoke in OPMDs/OSCCs

Patrizio Castagnola, Sergio Gandolfo, Davide Malacarne, Cinzia Aiello, Roberto Marino, Gabriele Zoppoli, Alberto Ballestrero, Walter Giaretti, Monica Pentenero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between tobacco smoke habit, patient age, DNA aneuploidy and genomic DNA copy number aberrations (CNAs) in oral potentially malignant disorder (OPMD) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients. DNA aneuploidy was detected by high-resolution DNA flow cytometry (hr DNA-FCM) on DAPI stained nuclei obtained from multiple tissue samples from OPMDs/OSCCs in 220 consecutive patients. Nuclear genomic aberrations were determined in a subset of 65 patients by genome-wide array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) using DNA extracted from either diploid or aneuploid nuclei suspension sorted by FCM. DNA aneuploidy and mean nuclear genomic aberrations were associated with patients’ age. In particular, DNA aneuploidy strongly associated with age in non-smoker OPMDs/OSCCs patients. OSCCs from smokers showed a lower prevalence of DNA aneuploidy compared to OSCCs from non-smokers. A higher occurrence of DNA aneuploidy (particularly in smokers’ OPMDs) was observed in patients characterized by involvement of a single oral subsite. Our study suggests that: 1) DNA aneuploidy in non-smokers is mainly related to aging; 2) OPMDs/OSCCs involving multiple oral subsites in smokers are less likely to develop DNA aneuploidy compared to non-smokers; 3) OSCC development is characterized by both CIN and CIN-independent mechanisms and that the latter are more relevant in smokers. This study provides evidence that DNA diploid OPMDs may be considered at lower risk of cancerization than DNA aneuploid ones in non-smokers but not in smokers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0184425
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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