Lymphocyte oxidative DNA damage and plasma antioxidants in Alzheimer disease

Patrizia Mecocci, M. Cristina Polidori, Antonio Cherubini, Tiziana Ingegni, Paola Mattioli, Marco Catani, Patrizia Rinaldi, Roberta Cecchetti, Wilhelm Stahl, Umberto Senin, M. Flint Beal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: A large body of experimental evidence suggests that in Alzheimer disease (AD) pathogenesis an important role is played by oxidative stress, but there is still a lack of data on in vivo markers of free radical-induced damage. Objectives: To evaluate levels of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker of oxidative damage to DNA, in peripheral lymphocytes; to measure plasma concentrations of several nonenzymatic antioxidants; and to assess the relationships between any observed changes in lymphocyte DNA 8-OHdG content and plasma antioxidant levels in patients with AD and healthy aged control subjects. Subjects: Forty elderly outpatients with AD and 39 healthy age- and sex-matched controls were studied. Main Outcome Measures: The level of 8-OHdG was determined in DNA extracted from lymphocytes and plasma levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and carotenoids (zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and α- and β-carotene) were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. Results: Lymphocyte DNA 8-OHdG content was significantly higher and plasma levels of antioxidants (with the exception of lutein) were significantly lower in patients with AD compared with controls. In patients with AD, a significant inverse relationship between lymphocyte DNA 8-OHdG content and plasma levels of lycopene, lutein, α-carotene, and β-carotene, respectively, was observed. Conclusions: Markers of oxidative damage are increased in AD and correlate with decreased levels of plasma antioxidants. These findings suggest that lymphocyte DNA 8-OHdG content in patients with AD reflects a condition of increased oxidative stress related to a poor antioxidant status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-798
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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