Evaluation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts in exfoliated oral cells by an immunohistochemical assay

Gianpiero Romano, Alessandro Sgambato, Alma Boninsegna, Giovanna Flamini, Giuseppe Curigliano, Qing Yang, Vincenzo La Gioia, Carlo Signorelli, Antonella Ferro, Giovanni Capelli, Regina M. Santella, Achille Cittadini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts were evaluated in oral cells from 98 healthy volunteers by an immunohistochemical method using a specific antiserum against benzo(a)pyrene-DNA adducts revealed by the immunoperoxidase reaction. Mean adduct content, determined as relative staining intensity by absorbance image analyzer, was significantly higher in the cells from tobacco smokers compared with nonsmokers (330 ± 98, n = 33 versus 286 ± 83, n = 64, respectively) with a P = 0.013 obtained by two-sample t test with equal variances. We found that in the smoker group, the PAH-DNA adduct content increases with the number of cigarettes. Thus, the relative staining intensity was 305 ± 105 in the group smoking 1-10 cigarettes/day (n = 16), 347 ± 77 in the 11-20 group (n = 14), and 386 ± 112 in the group smoking more than 20 cigarettes/day (n = 3; P = 0.03 by nonparametric test for trend). No significant association was detected between PAH-DNA adducts in oral cells and variables such as residential area, oral infections, alcohol or vitamin intake, grilled food consumption, and professional activity. This work confirms and extends previous data suggesting that this immunohistochemical method might be used as a valuable dosimeter of genotoxic damage in a carcinogen-exposed population, although further studies are needed to verify the applicability of the test in high-risk populations other than smokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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