Oxidatively damaged DNA in the nasal epithelium of workers occupationally exposed to silica dust in Tuscany region, Italy

Marco E M Peluso, Armelle Munnia, Roger W. Giese, Elisabetta Chellini, Marcello Ceppi, Fabio Capacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic silica exposure has been associated to cancer and silicosis. Furthermore, the induction of oxidative stress and the generation of reactive oxygen species have been indicated to play a main role in the carcinogenicity of respirable silica. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate the prevalence of 3-(2-deoxy-β-D-erythro-pentafuranosyl)pyrimido[1,2-α]purin-10(3H)-one deoxyguanosine (M1dG) adducts, a biomarker of oxidative stress and peroxidation of lipids, in the nasal epithelium of 135 silica-exposed workers, employed in pottery, ceramic and marble manufacturing plants as well as in a stone quarry, in respect to 118 controls living in Tuscany region, Italy. The M1dG generation was measured by the 32P-postlabelling assay. Significant higher levels of M1dG adducts per 108 normal nucleotides were observed in the nasal epithelium of smokers, 77.9±9.8 (SE), and in those of former smokers, 80.7±9.7 (SE), as compared to non-smokers, 57.1±6.2 (SE), P = 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively. Significant increments of M1dG adducts were found in the nasal epithelium of workers that handle artificial marble conglomerates, 184±36.4 (SE), and in those of quarry workers, 120±34.7 (SE), with respect to controls, 50.6±2.7 (SE), P = 0.014 and P <0.001, respectively. Null increments were observed in association with the pottery and the ceramic factories. After stratification for different exposures, silica-exposed workers that were co-exposed to organic solvents, and welding and exhaust fumes have significantly higher M1dG levels, 90.4±13.4 (SE), P = 0.014 vs. control. Our data suggested that silica exposure might be associated with genotoxicity in the nasal epithelial cells of silica-exposed workers that handle of artificial marble conglomerates and quarry workers. Importantly, we observed that co-exposures to other respiratory carcinogens may have contributed to enhance the burden of M1dG adducts in the nasal epithelium of silica-exposed workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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