Dose-responsiveness and persistence of microRNA expression alterations induced by cigarette smoke in mouse lung

Alberto Izzotti, Patrizia Larghero, Mariagrazia Longobardi, Cristina Cartiglia, Anna Camoirano, Vernon E. Steele, Silvio de Flora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our previous studies demonstrated that exposure to cigarette smoke (CS), either mainstream or environmental, results in a remarkable downregulation of microRNA expression in the lung of both mice and rats. The goals of the present study were to evaluate the dose responsiveness to CS and the persistence of microRNA alterations after smoking cessation. ICR (CD-1) neonatal mice were exposed whole-body to mainstream CS, at the doses of 119, 292, 438, and 631mg/m 3 of total particulate matter. Exposure started within 12h after birth and continued daily for 4 weeks. The levels of bulky DNA adducts and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodGuo) were measured by 32P postlabeling procedures, and the expression of 697 mouse microRNAs was analyzed by microarray. The highest CS dose was lethal. Exposure to CS caused a dose-dependent increase of DNA alterations. DNA adducts and, even more sharply, 8-oxodGuo were reverted 1 and 4 weeks after smoking cessation. Exposure to CS resulted in an evident dysregulation of microRNA expression profiles, mainly in the sense of downregulation. The two lowest doses were not particularly effective, while the highest nonlethal dose produced extensive microRNA alterations. The expression of most downregulated microRNAs, including among others 7 members of the let-7 family, was restored one week after smoking cessation. However, the recovery was incomplete for a limited array of microRNAs, including mir-34b, mir-345, mir-421, mir-450b, mir-466, and mir-469. Thus, it appears that microRNAs mainly behave as biomarkers of effect and that exposure to high-dose, lasting for an adequate period of time, is needed to trigger the CS-related carcinogenesis process in the experimental animal model used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011


  • 8-Oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine
  • Cigarette smoke
  • DNA adducts
  • MicroRNAs
  • Mouse lung

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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